UNA Pressroom

Human Rights Advocate John Prendergast To Speak At Commencement

Oct. 24, 2011

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. - Bestselling author of "Unlikely Brothers" and human rights advocate John Prendergast will speak to the University of North Alabama fall 2011 graduating class during the commencement ceremony Dec.16 at 7 p.m. in Flowers Hall. Prendergast, who has worked to bring peace to Africa for more than 25 years, is the co-founder of the Enough Project, which is an initiative to put a stop to genocide and crimes against humanity and is connected to the Center for American Progress. In addition to his projects in Africa, Prendergast has also worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of the U.S. Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group and the U.S. Institute of Peace. In 2010, Prendergast teamed up with actor two-time Golden Globe and Academy Award winner George Clooney to initiate the Satellite Sentinel Project (SS), after they both took a trip to South Sudan. The SSP watches for armed activity and any sign of civil war being reinstated between people of Sudan and South Sudan. The SSP also works to pick up and put an end to mass killings that might take place along the border. He been awarded six honorary doctorates and is a board member and strategic adviser to Not On Our Watch, the organization created by actors George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt. Prendergast is also the author or co-author of 10 books, including his most recent work "Unlikely Brothers," which was released in May 201l. He also co-authored New York Times bestseller "Not On Our Watch" and "The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes" with Don Cheadle. The human rights advocate also worked with Tracy McGrady and other National Basketball Association stars to find the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program to fund Dardurian schools in refugee camp and to also create similar bonds with schools in the U.S. Prendergast launched two different campaigns under "Enough: the Raise Hope for Congo Campaign." Prendergast has appeared in "60 Minutes," won an Emmy award, and helped envision and create various African characters for two TV episodes of the show "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." He also appeared in NBC's "Dateline," ABC's "Nightline," the "PBS NewsHour," and CNN's "Inside Africa." He has appeared in a number of documentaries. He has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Men's Vogue, Time, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Oprah Magazine, Capitol File, Arrive, Interview, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Time. Prendergast has worked as a visiting professor at Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of San Diego, Eckerd College, University of Maryland, the American University of Cairo, University of Pittsburgh and St. Mary's College. For more information, contact Josh Woods at the Office of University Communications at 256-765-4225 or e-mail jlwoods1@una.edu.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/