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Upcoming Meetings:

First and Third Wednesday of the month, please confirm with David in advance, (412) 992-0102.

5:30 PM at the Starbucks located at 2345 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

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The Way Forward in Darfur and South Sudan:
A Pittsburgh Summit
March 19-21, 2010

summit group photo

Photo Gallery
Credit: Chelsey Engel Photography

Pre G20 Press conference and
Solemn Walk
September 14, 2009

Darfuris solemn walk and rally

News Coverage

Photo Gallery 1

Jerry Fowler, National Save Darfur Coalition President's Visit to Pittsburgh
March 10-12, 2009

News Articles

Photo Gallery

PDEC Collected 4704
postcards at the

Inauguration Photo Gallery 1

Inauguration Photo Gallery 2

Tents of Hope
Washington D.C.
November 9, 2008

Click on the links below to view more pictures from the November 9th Demonstration.

Tents of Hope Photo Gallery 1

Tents of Hope Photo Gallery 2

Tents of Hope Pittsburgh Project

Click on image for pictures.

Dream for Darfur Torch Relay

Click on image for pictures.

Summer Schedule

There are no meetings are scheduled after July 9th, through August. PDEC meetings will resume on Wednesday, September 3, 2014.

Also, a new PDEC website is in the process of construction. Contact David Rosenberg at with any questions over the summer.

Will of Council Measure

Photo Credit: Chelsey Engel Photography for PDEC.

A Will of Council measure sponsored by Councilman Dan Gilman was presented on Tuesday, May 13th, deploring the ethnic violence in Sudan and South Sudan, with particular reference to the recent massacre at Bentiu, and urging U.S. and international partners to redouble their diplomatic efforts.

Click on the City Council Proclamation for a full-sized version.


Upcoming Events in May 2014

Friday, May 2nd, 8 pm. Dor Hadash Congregation (Jewish), corner of Shady and Wilkins Avenues, Squirrel Hill.  

Mary Dawn Edwards, core member of PDEC, will offer remarks at the Friday night worship service in which she will update events in Sudan and South Sudan.

Tuesday, May 13th, 9:45 am. City Council Chambers, City County Building, 414 Grant Street, 5th Floor.  

A Will of Council measure sponsored by Councilman Dan Gilman will be presented deploring the ethnic violence in Sudan and South Sudan, with particular reference to the recent massacre at Bentiu, and urging U.S. and international partners to redouble their diplomatic efforts.  Opportunity for PDEC and diaspora speakers. Widest possible attendance encouraged!

Thursday, May 15th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm.  Union Project, 801 N. Negley Ave., East Liberty. 

Community Forum sponsored by Global Solutions Pittsburgh. Focus will be on Darfur ten years after first garnering internationa attention, and what the situation in the region is currently. Will include PDEC and diaspora speakers.

The Pittsburgh Petition

PDEC and members of the Sudanese diaspora have launched a PETITION DRIVE to voice "our concern and dismay at the continued violence, oppression and divisions" in the two Sudans,  We are calling on the U.S. government, working with international partners, to redouble its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in that region. 


South Sudan and Sudan: Luncheon and Forum

April 6, 2014,  2:00 - 5:30 p.m

Out of sight of the mainstream media, Sudan (now two countries: Sudan and South Sudan) continues to suffer endemic violence and in South Sudan teeters on the brink of all out civil war. On Sunday, April 6th, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition and members of the Sudanese Community of Pittsburgh sponsored a Forum on the problems and prospects of the two countries.

Speakers included Congressman Mike Doyle, Jacqueline Burns from the U.S. Department of State (directly involved in the negotiations there and just returned), Hawa Salih, 2012 Secretary of State International Woman of Courage from Darfur, granted political asylum and living in Philadelphia, and other members of the Sudanese diaspora.

One goal of the meeting was to explore ways to restart the advocacy effort which has lost momentum in recent years by encouraging more synergy between activists and concerned members of the Sudanese diaspora.

Coverage of this forum from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette can be found here.

(Photo: Jacqueline Burns, Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, speaking at the U.N. Human Rights Council, 2013. Photo with permission of Ms. Burns.)

Displaced Persons Exhibit at Duquesne University

PDEC and Students for Human Rights Group Collaborate on Sign Display at Duquesne Universty, October 21-23, 2013. Photos by Chelsey Engel.

Darfur refugees living in Pittsburgh hold signs for displacement camps in Darfur where their families had to flee in 2004. 1.4 million IDPs and 300,000 Darfuri refugees live in camps awaiting a peace which is yet to be obtained.

The exhibit featured more than 90 signs each bearing the name of a camp and the number of displaced persons/refugees within it. It was displayed on the Duquesne campus for three consecutive days.

Click here to see the full gallery from the exhibit.

California Student Activist Donates to Support PDEC's Work

Neeraj GindaHearing of the Darfur genocide on a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., and astonished to learn that it was still going on, Neeraj Ginda of Live Oak, California, recently became a leader in her high school and community to raise awareness and funds for Darfur. She created videos, organized die-ins and eventually sold t-shirts and other items donated by the San Francisco Bay Area Coalition, raising $1,005. This past summer Neeraj decided to donate those funds to PDEC to help us with a new awareness and advocacy project in Pittsburgh. 

Special Envoy Amb. Lyman in Pittsburgh

Members of PDEC with Amb. Lyman at Tana Restuarant in Pittsburgh, Feb. 26, 2013. Photo: Chelsey Engel Photography for PDEC.

Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, retiring Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, took time out to visit Pittsburgh and encourage PDEC members, including within the Sudanese community, to pursue their advocacy. He was honored by Pittsburgh City Council and spoke at events cosponsored by PDEC and the Ford Institute for Human Security, GSPIA, at Pitt. Amb. Lyman assured that President Obama and incoming Secretary of State John Kerry will continue to place a high priority on resolving the conflicts in Sudan and will appoint a new special envoy. We were proud to host this dedicated public servant.

The Jewish Chronicle covered this discussion in their article, "No Quick Solutions."

View Amb. Lyman's talk at the Ford Institute for Human Security:


PDEC's own Mary Dawn Edwards wrote a letter to the editor about Amb. Lyman's visit, featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Amb. Princeton N. Lyman to Visit Pittsburgh

PDEC is proud to announce the visit of Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan.

Ambassador Lyman has been reponsible for the implementation of U.S. Sudan policy since the separation of South Sudan from Sudan two years ago. He will update the community on current developments and the prospects for peace and reform in the Sudans.

Mark your calendar for these events:

Tuesday, February 26

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Dinner of Welcome at Tana (Ethiopian Restaurant) 5929 Baum Boulevard East Liberty. Sponsored by PDEC and members of the Sudanese community in Pittsburgh. Space limited. Advance reservations with PDEC required. Suggested donation: minimum $20.

Wednesday, February 27

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Recognition Ceremony for Ambassador Lyman Pittsburgh City Council, 5th Floor City County Building, 414 Grant Street. Sponsored by Councilman Bill Peduto and others. Free and open to the public.

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. "Sudan and South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges," presentation by Ambassador Lyman followed by question and answer period. Sponsored by the Ford Institute at GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh as part of their Ford Institute Speakers Series. Free admission and refreshments. Room 3431 Posvar Hall.

More details to follow. We would appreciate knowing your interest in attending any or all of these events. RSVP via email ( or phone (412-992-0102).

Read about this event in The Jewish Chronicle!

City Council honors Hawa Abdullah Salih

Hawa AbdullahPittsburgh City Council recognized and honored Ms. Hawa Abdullah Salih, courageous champion for the rights of Darfur women and IDPs, with a City Council Proclamation on May 22, 2012.

Local Darfur activist Omar Ismail joined other members of PDEC in successfully campaigning for Ms. Salih's release from arbitrary imprisonment by the Sudanese National Security Forces.

Click here for Essential Public Radio's coverage of Hawa's City Council Proclamation and here for coverage from Congressman Mike Doyle's office.

Save the date - July 14, 2012

Hawa AbdullahMark your calendar for July 14, 2012 for first anniversary celebration of South Sudanese independence. Sudanese of all regions will mark the event in a daylong celebration at Pittsburgh Gospel Tabernacle, 623 S. Main St., PGH, PA 15220 (West End area) from 1 - 7 PM.

The Sudanese Community in Pittsburgh invites all friends of PDEC and the Sudanese/Darfur cause to join with them in this joyous celebration. They especially hope that students, religious and political leaders who are engaged with this cause will join with them as they celebrate one year of independence.

This celebration will cost $10 at the door, which includes food and soft drinks. Please contact Kawthar Albe at for more information.

Benedict Killang travels to Juba this month

Benedict KillangPittsburgh Sudanese Community leader and PDEC member Benedict Killang will be visiting family and friends in South Sudan and will have an opportunity to see for himself conditions prevailing in the world's newest country.

PDEC wishes Benedict safe travels and we look forward to hearing about his trip. We will report on the details of his trip here.

Fighting for Darfur: the Promise and Peril of Mass Movement Advocacy

Rebecca and IsmailOn Saturday, April 14, 2012, Rebecca Hamilton spoke to the local community about the advocacy movement's efforts to save Darfur.

Professor Cliff Bob, Associate Professor of Political Science at Duquesne University, commented on Hamilton's talk, which was attended by twenty core activists.

Ambassador Smith's Visit to Pittsburgh

Dane Smith

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured a story about the Ambassador's perspective on the future of Darfur and the various engagements he took part in around town. Also, be sure to read the Jewish Chronicle's article as well.

Also, be sure to check out photos from Amb. Smith's visit on our Facebook page.

Ambassador Dane Smith to Pittsburgh

Dane SmithOn Monday, March 12th, U.S. Senior Advisor for Darfur, Ambassador Dane Smith, will be giving a luncheon presentation at East Liberty Presbyterian Church from 12:30-2:00 pm.

"Resolving Sudan's Crisis in Darfur." Cost including luncheon $15, $10 for seniors and students. Request reservations in advance, payment at the door. Reservations requested by Wed. March 7: call Kate at 412-441-3800 extension 16 or by e-mail at Hosted by the Peace Committee at ELPC.

Also on Monday March 12th, Ambassador Smith will speak at the University of Pittsburgh, David Lawrence Hall Room 121, 8:30 pm.

"Diplomacy and Peacebuilding in Darfur" is co-sponsored with University of Pittsburgh STAND. Free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Suggestions welcome as we proceed to fill out the agenda. Media interest is invited. Call David at 412 992-0102. The event is part of the PDEC 2011-2012 Speaker Series, which later this year will feature Rebecca Hamilton, author of Fighting for Darfur, Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide.

PDEC meets Hawa Abdullah, Darfuri Activist in Pittsburgh

Hawa Abdullah

Hawa Abdullah has been honored as one of the 2012 International Women of Courage award recipients by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Click here to read more.

Challenges for Sudan, Challenges for Advocacy

JP Panel

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured a front page story detailing "Challenges for Sudan, Challenges for Advocacy," which took place on Monday, February 13th at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library.

The Jewish Chronicle featured a piece on the panel, which you can view here. Likewise, the New People published an article about the panel.

Also, check out some photos from the event on the PDEC Facebook page.

Challenges for Sudan, Challenges for Advocacy Panel and Discussion

On Monday, February 13, PDEC will host a panel on the future of Darfur, the two Sudans, and the advocacy movement, at the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library, 5801 Forbes Ave. Meeting Rooms A&B.

PanelThe speakers include Abdalmageed Haroun (Darfur Human Rights Activist), John Prendergast (Enough Project), and Professor Louis Picard (Pitt) with comments by Benedict Killang (Sudanese Community) and David Rosenberg. We encourage all who have been following the struggles in Darfur and the Sudans -- and many of you who have campaigned valiantly in the past with us -- to come and learn what is happening now and what we can do to assist. Media attention has wandered to other issues, but what was once a powerful advocacy effort has lost some of its steam. This is unfortunate as Darfur has not really been "saved" and new conflicts, following similar patterns, have broken out elsewhere. A looming humanitarian crisis, including the potential for famine, is present in some areas subject to North Sudanese attacks, while ethnic conflict has broken out in Jonglei state in South Sudan.

This panel is part of the PDEC 2011-2012 Speaker Series, which later this year will feature Ambassador Dane Smith, Senior Advisor on Darfur in the U.S. State Department and Rebecca Hamilton, author of Fighting for Darfur, Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments available.

National Student Director of STAND to visit Pittsburgh

Daniel SolomonDaniel Solomon is National Student Director at STAND: the Student-led Division of United to End Genocide. Daniel grew up in New York City and is a junior at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Washington D.C., where he is majoring in international politics with a concentration in international security studies. Daniel first became involved with STAND when he was appointed National Burma Education Coordinator in June 2009. He also served as National Advocacy Coordinator during the 2010-2011 school year.

This is a great opportunity for local STAND groups and other student clubs and/or classes in the Pittsburgh area to meet a leader of this nation-wide student movement. Faith organizations may also wish to take advantage of Daniel's visit to schedule an opportunity for their youth group, social action committee, or entire congregation.

Please email or call David (412-992-0102) if you would like to explore a meeting with Daniel during his time in Pittsburgh. He will be here from Thursday, December 8 at noon through Saturday December 10 at 2 pm.

Sudan Caucus Letter Update: 11/22/11

Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14) and Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18) were among 62 (sixty-two) co-signers of the attached letter to the Obama Administration from the Congressional Sudan Caucus urging a more focused and vigorous Sudan policy. PDEC reached out to both legislators and we appreciate their support!

"New country of South Sudan celebrated locally"

"The local celebration echoed the one in Juba, where the world officially welcomed the new country of South Sudan into the fold on Saturday, promising support to the war-torn nation even while warning of perils ahead. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese gathered to witness the independence day ceremonies and celebrate the newly born state, chanting 'We will never surrender' and 'South Sudan oyee' in glee" - Sean D. Hamill, PPG.

Be sure to read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about the South Sudan Independence Day celebration held at Whitehall Presbyterian Church on Saturday!

Free at Last! Hawa Abdullah Update


Hawa Abdallah, a Sudanese woman who was arrested on 6 May in Darfur, was released on 13 July. She was arrested for ‘Christianizing’ children and being linked to an armed opposition group. Hawa Abdallah works as a community activist and a translator for the joint United Nations and African Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Darfur, western Sudan.

On 6 May 2011 she was arrested at her home in Abu Shouk village by armed officers of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). Two days later, an article published on Sudan’s state-run news website accused Hawa Abdallah of ‘Christianizing’ the children at the IDP camps where she works, and of having links to a Darfuri armed opposition group. The article also contained a photo of her looking fatigued and bruised, which increased concerns that she was being ill- treated. During her detention she was not charged, or allowed to see a lawyer or her family.

Previous to Hawa Abdallah’s arrest in May 2011, she was receiving death threats via text, telling her to leave Abu Shouk IDP camp. She was also arrested and detained for six days in 2009. During that time the NISS reportedly tortured her.

Hawa Abdallah is currently in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, undergoing medical check-ups.

- via Amnesty International press release

Be sure to read the local coverage of this great news, from Sean Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette!

"Signs of Change"

PDEC's own David Rosenberg was featured in the June 2011 issue of Pitt Magazine. The article focuses on Rosenberg's roots as an activist and how PDEC came to be. Read the article online below.

Free Hawa Abdullah

Hawa AbdullahCongressman Mike Doyle and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. plus six members of Pittsburgh City Council have joined with PDEC to advocate for the release of Ms. Hawa Abdullah, a Darfuri community activist and UNAMID staff member at the Abu Shouk displaced persons camp near El Fasher.  Hawa Abdullah was illegally arrested on May 6 and is being detained by Sudanese security forces in an undisclosed location in Khartoum. She has been denied access to legal counsel and family. The Sudanese government has released a photo of her posed with a Christian bible in an attempt to suggest that Hawa was spreading Christianity among children in the IDP camps, a  capital offense under Sudanese Sharia law.  The charge is vehemently rejected by Hawa’s friends and acquaintances, many of whom now fear for her life.

We thank Congressman Doyle and Senator Casey, as well as Council members Peduto, Harris, Shields, Kraus, Rudiak, and Dowd for writing directly to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to advocate for Hawa Abdullah. View the letter written by Congressman Doyle and Senator Casey here and see the letter that City Council wrote here.

View the response from Ambassador Dane Smith to Pittsburgh City Council regarding Hawa Abdullah here.

We also thank Sean Hamill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for his excellent coverage of events in Sudan and in the community.

PDEC is in touch with Human Rights Watch, which broke the story, and the Darfur Bar Assocation, as well as Niemat Ahmadi of Save Darfur/GI Net, in an effort to get updates on Hawa’s condition. We urge our supporters to send a message to Secretary Clinton and to call Congressman Doyle (412 390-1499 local; 202 225-2135 D.C. office) and Senator Casey,(412 803-7370 local and 202 224-6324 D.C. ) and your council person (Mr. Peduto 412 255-2133 took the lead on this) to thank them for their commendable actions.

Your support is urgently needed!

Save the Date - Saturday, July 9, 2011

South Sudan

Mark your calendar for July 9, 2011 for the local version of the worldwide celebration of South Sudanese independence. The new Republic of Southern Sudan will come into being on that date. Sudanese of all regions will mark the event in a daylong celebration at Whitehall Presbyterian Church, 4935 East Willock Rd., Pgh 15227-3659 (Baldwin/Brentwood/Whitehall area).

The Sudanese Community in Pittsburgh invites all friends of PDEC and the Sudanese/Darfur cause to join with them in this joyous celebration. They especially hope that students, religious and political leaders who are engaged with this cause will join with them as they celebrate independence and also express a commitment not to forget Darfur.

Please contact Benedict Killang at for more information.

Sudan advocate John Prendergast speaks to PDEC leaders

John Prendergast

Leading Sudan advocate John Prendergast, currently a visiting fellow at the Ford Institute for Human Security at Pitt, spoke to PDEC leaders
at Panera's Cafe in Shadyside on 2/22.  He praised the work of the Coaliton and urged us to continue to mobilize behind a new "Roadmap of Peace in Darfur."  

Councilman Doug Shields welcomed Prendergast to Pittsbugh and Christopher Rosselot, an aide to Sen. Casey, was present at the meeting, which was also attended by Sudanese Community leaders Benedict Killang, Ismail Omer Ismail, and Kawthar Albe. PDEC Coordinator David Rosenberg presented John Prendergast with a classic PDEC T-Shirt.

Check out the article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more about our event and JP's visit to Pittsburgh!

Also, check out the blog that the Enough Project produced about this event!

"From Sudan to Pittsburgh: A long journey home"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviewed Darfuri refugees Ismail Omar and Mohamed Idris about their road to Pittsburgh, their connection to PDEC and their hopes for their homeland.


Read the front page Sunday Edition article here.

Videos from the March and Rally for Peace in Sudan - January 5, 2011

Part 1

  Part 2

Slideshow from the March and Rally for Peace in Sudan - January 5, 2011


View all of the photos from the January 5th March and Rally for Peace in Sudan here.

Pittsburghers March Ahead of South Sudan Referendum - January 5, 2011


"Activists call for peace in Sudan"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came out to cover the March and Rally for Peace in Sudan on Wednesday. A crowd of some 80 people were on hand to advocate for peace in Sudan in the face of the critical referendum that will take place Sunday. Members of City Council were on hand to speak and march in support of the people of Sudan, as well as student, religious and community leaders. The South Sudanese community here in Pittsburgh was also present, calling on Khartoum to conduct safe and fair voting procedures. The March and Rally stressed the need to be conscious about the fact that the future of Sudan may well be decided on January 9, 2011.

Read the article here. Story by Vivian Nereim. Photo by Darrell Sapp/Post Gazette.

Please check out our other local media coverage as well:

Letters to the Editor - For Peace in Sudan 12/17/10

Pittsburgh to March Ahead of South Sudan Referendum 12/23/10

Meanwhile, in Sudan... 1/2/11

Pittsburgh Rally Focuses on Sudanese Secession Issue 1/4/11

Pittsburgh-area Sudanese travel to Virginia to vote 1/10/11

Letters to the Editor - Our Group's Goals 1/14/11

An Historic Moment in Sudan

On Sunday January 9, Southern Sudanese from Pittsburgh boarded a van for Arlington, Virginia to vote in the historic referendum that will determine the path of the largest country in Africa for the indefinite future.


From left to right: Benedict Killang, Louis Vuga, John Albe and Marko Wani with their registration cards.

Discussion on the Upcoming Sudan Referenda

FrazerOn November 16, 2010 Ambassador Jendayi Frazer, a top State Department official in the Bush administration, spoke to more than 60 activists in an event orgnized by PDEC and hosted by Carnegie Mellon University.






Pennsylvania Divests!

On July 7th, Governor Rendell signed into law, The Protecting Pennsylvania's Investment Act, S.B 928 divesting from foreign companies doing business in Sudan. Read more

The Way Forward in Darfur and South Sudan: A Pittsburgh Summit

March 19-21, 2010

On March 19-21,2010, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) convened Darfuri and South Sudanese diaspora members, U.S.-based advocates and activists and governmental leaders for a summit on the way forward in Darfur and South Sudan at Carnegie Mellon University.

Other sponsors included Save Darfur Coalition, Global Solutions Pittsburgh, the Thomas Merton Center, and the Sudanese community in Pittsburgh.

Video of the special presentation on Saturday, May 20, 2010
Speakers include: David Rosenberg, Jerry Fowler, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Scott Gration, Niemat Ahmadi and Laura Beny.

Donate to help with the ongoing work of Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition

David Rosenberg

Congratulation to our Coordinator,
David Rosenberg,
April's Darfur Hero




Thanks to our political leaders, Representatives Mike Doyle and Tim Murphy for their support in the struggle for peace in Darfur and all of Sudan.
Read the congressional letter sent to Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton

PDEC G20 Destroyed Villages Display

G20 destroyed villages exhibit on flagstaff hill

We ran three buses to DC on April 19, 2009

Act Now For Darfur

PDEC postcard campaign tops 15,710

Add Your Voice, Sign A Postcard

Postcard MeterBe part of the 20,000 Pittsburgh Voices for Darfur Postcard Campaign. Email us to order postcards free of charge.







Destroyed Villages Project

Destroyed Villages Rally -

March and Rally Ongoing Advocacy
On May 18, Darfuri refugees, communityleaders, and Pittsburgh area residents joined PDEC in recognizing these lost villages at a march and rally in downtown Pittsburgh. 


Click here for a video from the Destroyed Villages March and Rally of May 18
UPDATED: Click here to see the confirmed destroyed and damaged villages and here for a list of destroyed and damaged villages
Click here to view a photo gallery of the May 18 march and rally