Author and Sudanese activist John Dau will speak at Lindenwood University at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, to start the school’s 2009-10 Speaker Series. The event will be in the Anheuser-Busch Leadership Room of the Spellmann Center on the main Lindenwood campus, 209 S. Kingshighway in St. Charles. Admission for all speaker series events is free and open to the public.
Born in the African nation of Sudan, Dau was forced to flee in 1987 when his village was attacked by Sudanese forces during the country’s civil war, travelling first to Ethiopia before war there forced him again into refugee status. Facing disease, starvation and on-going violence, he eventually found safe haven in Kenya.
In Kenya, exposed to formal education for the first time, Dau blossomed and was sent to the United States with 140 other young Sudanese refugees. While working 60-hour weeks as a security guard, Dau brought his mother and sister to the U.S. from Sudan and earned an associate’s degree; he is currently working toward a degree in policy studies from Syracuse University. He has also started three foundations to benefit the people of Sudan.
The award-winning 2006 film, “God Grew Tired of Us: The Lost Boys of Sudan,” focused on Dau’s move to the U.S. and his early experiences in the country. His memoir of the same title was published by National Geographic Press in January 2007. He has become a successful speaker on the national level and speaks on the importance of human rights and ending the violence in Sudan.
The Speaker Series also includes:
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, 7 p.m. Daniel P. Erikson Erikson, a Caribbean foreign policy expert, will speak on the future of Cuba and what it means to the United States.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, 7 p.m. Dr. Roddy Roediger Washington University’s dean of academic planning in arts and sciences, Roediger will present, “How Retrieval Enhances Retention: Some Lessons for Educational Practice.”
Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, 7:30 p.m. Beat Poets David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg Returning to the series this year, Meltzer and Rothenberg will talk about their work and read some selections, including pieces in Lindenwood’s recently released literary magazine, Untamed Ink.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Arun Gandhi A well-known peace activist, the grandson of Mohandas Ghandi will present “Lessons Learned from my Grandfather” at 11 a.m. and “A Non-Violent Response to Terrorism” at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 7 p.m. John Maguire The social justice activist will present “The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Pertinence of Martin Luther King’s Vision for Today.”
Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 7 p.m. “Billy” Lillian Maguire Maguire, a noted children’s advocate, will present “Key Elements of Healthy Child Rearing: Challenges to a University Community.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 7 p.m. Anya Kamanetz The celebrated financial expert and author will talk about her book, Generation Debt, with a book signing to follow.
All events are in the Anheuser-Busch Leadership Room of the Spellmann Center, except the Meltzer and Rothenberg event, which will be at the Lindenwood University Cultural Center, 400 N. Kingshighway, two blocks north of the main campus.
Lindenwood University, founded in 1827, is an independent liberal arts university offering 84 undergraduate degree programs and 37 graduate programs in diverse areas of study ¬in traditional and accelerated formats. Lindenwood operates a residential campus in historic St. Charles, as well as 10 extension sites throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area.