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Emmanuel Jal: From child soldier to hip hop artist

By Kim Urquhart | Emory Report | Oct. 10, 2012

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Emory's Institute for Developing Nations will host hip hop artist, author and activist Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier, for two events on Oct. 19 and Oct. 22.

Emory's Institute for Developing Nations will host hip hop artist, author and activist Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier, for two events on Oct. 19 and Oct. 22.

"From War Child to Peace Soldier: An Evening with Emmanuel Jal" is set for Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in Emory's Cannon Chapel. Jal will talk about his life as a child soldier in the civil war that engulfed Sudan from 1983 to 2005, and share his music. Jal's most recent album, "See Me Mama," released on Oct. 2, and his "We Want Peace" campaign uses music to speak out against genocide. The event is open to the public and there is a suggested donation of $10 to support Jal's charity Gua, a nongovernmental organization that builds schools in South Sudan.

On Monday, Oct. 22, Jal will talk with university students about activism, peace and development.  "Becoming Peace Soldiers:  Emmanuel Jal Speaks with Students" is set for 7 p.m. in the Ivan Allen Pavilion at The Carter Center. Valid school IDs are required to attend this free event, aimed at Atlanta-area students but open to faculty and staff as well.

"Emmanuel Jal has received international acclaim as a hip hop artist and an activist who raises awareness about the horrific human costs of conflict, the importance of standing up for peace and the huge development challenges facing his home country of South Sudan," says Sita Ranchod-Nilsson, director of the Institute for Developing Nations. "His life story and his music can inspire us all to work for a better world."

Emory's Institute for Developing Nations advances engaged scholarship in partnership with Carter Center programs that promote peace and alleviate human suffering.