Press Release

The Way Forward in Northern Uganda

Actor Ryan Gosling, Experts and Activists Discuss U.S. Action for Northern Uganda

Washington, D.C. – ENOUGH, an initiative founded by the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress to confront genocide and crimes against humanity worldwide, teams up with experts and activists to discuss ways to support the fragile peace process in Northern Uganda. While there has been recent progress in Uganda with a renewed cessation of hostilities agreement and a road map for comprehensive solutions to the conflict, the situation is fragile and success will require leadership from the international community, especially the United States. For two days next week, experts and activists will discuss the current situation in Uganda with students and members of Congress.

There will be opportunity to privately interview John Prendergast and Ryan Gosling throughout the day on Monday, June 4 and to attend a private reception on the Hill with the panelists and members of Congress prior to the Tuesday, June 5 meeting. Please contact Calista Johnson at 202-741-6398 to schedule an interview. To RSVP to either or both events, please click the link below.

The first event on Monday, June 4 is geared toward students and young professionals. Ryan Gosling, John Prendergast, Jimmie Briggs, and Betty Bigombe will discuss their recent trip to Uganda; Laren Poole will introduce a brief film produced by Invisible Children; and Michael Poffenberger will discuss tools for taking action to help bring peace to Uganda.

This event is co-sponsored by Resolve Uganda, Enough, Center for American Progress, Campus Progress, and The Invisible Children.

Please click here to RSVP.

Monday, June 4, 2007
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
Food will be served at 6:00 p.m.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center.

The second event on Tuesday, June 5 begins with a private reception at 5:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. Jim McDermott. There will be a screening of Invisible Children’s short video, “Displace Me,” followed by a briefing by experts and members of Congress.

June 5, 2007
Private reception: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
General meeting: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Building room 106

Featured Speakers include:
Ryan Gosling, Academy Award-nominated actor, currently writing and producing a film on child soldiers in Northern Uganda,
Betty Bigombe, Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace
Michael Poffenberger, Executive Director, Resolve Uganda
John Prendergast, Co-chair, ENOUGH
Laren Poole, Co-Founder and Filmmaker, Invisible Children
Melissa Fitzgerald, Actress and Producer, Voices of Uganda
Anita Sharma, Executive Director, ENOUGH

Betty Bigombe is a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. She has been involved in peace negotiations in Uganda to end the Lord’s Resistance Army’s insurgency since the early 1990s. Prior to taking on these negotiation initiatives, she was appointed cabinet minister in Yoweri Museveni’s government for pacification of North and Northeastern Uganda, resident in the North. She provided technical support to the Carter Center in the peace efforts between the governments of Uganda and Sudan. She then held a fellowship at Harvard University’s Institute for International Development in Public Policy in 1997. Bigombe joined the World Bank in 1997 as a senior social scientist at the Bank’s newly created Post-Conflict Unit and also worked with the Social Protection and Human Development Units.

Jimmie Briggs, a former reporter with LIFE magazine, is a New York-based writer, teacher, and freelance journalist. Over the last decade, he’s focused professionally on child soldiers and the lives of war-affected children in writing for publications such as The Village Voice, The Source, El Pais, People, and Essence among others. A National Magazine Award finalist and recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, Alicia Patterson Foundation, and Carter Center, among others, his book on child soldiers and war-affected children, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War, was published in 2005. He’s presently completing a book on rape as a weapon of war.

Melissa Fitzgerald is an actor, producer, and activist.  She is best known for playing Carol on NBC’s award-winning drama, “The West Wing.”  In the spring of 2006, Fitzgerald traveled to Northern Uganda to work with malnourished children in displacement camps.  She is returning to the region this summer to produce “Voices of Uganda,” a documentary film project that follows a group of Northern Ugandan teenagers as they participate in a unique theater program with a group of American actors, writers, and directors.
Ryan Gosling is an Academy Award-nominated actor for his performance in “Half Nelson.”  After traveling to refugee camps in Chad in 2005, he was moved to expand his humanitarian work.  This March, he visited Uganda with John Prendergast and others.  He is currently preparing to do a film on child soldiers in Northern Uganda.  Gosling continues to speak out about the situation in Uganda and Darfur.
Michael Poffenberger is a co-founder and Executive Director of Resolve Uganda, an emerging grassroots campaign for peace in northern Uganda. Poffenberger previously served as Associate Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network, and co-founded the Uganda Conflict Action Network.

Laren Poole is the co-founder and filmmaker of Invisible Children.  Poole attended the University of California, San Diego for structural engineering. Since his initial trip to Africa in 2003, Poole has returned to Uganda multiple times and continues to play an integral role in the development of programs and creative initiatives at Invisible Children, both in America and in Uganda. Prior to starting Invisible Children, Poole designed for the clothing company Jedidiah. He continues to use his artistic strengths as Invisible Children¹s Art Director and co-director for the feature film.
John Prendergast is on leave from his International Crisis Group work to help build ENOUGH, which he co-founded. Previously, Prendergast worked at the White House and State Department during the Clinton administration, where he was involved in a number of peace processes throughout Africa. Prendergast also has worked for members of Congress, the United Nations, human rights organizations, and think tanks. He has authored eight books on Africa, the latest of which, Not on Our Watch, he co-authored with actor/activist Don Cheadle. Prendergast travels regularly to Africa’s war zones on fact-finding missions, peace-making initiatives, and awareness-raising trips involving network news programs, celebrities, and politicians.

Anita Sharma is the executive director of ENOUGH. She most recently served as governance advisor in Indonesia with the Office of the United Nations Recovery Coordinator and has held international posts in Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, and Kosovo with the International Organization for Migration. She previously directed the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center and was the research director for the Role of American Military Power Project and the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a master’s degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

ENOUGH, a joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress, aims to end crimes against humanity in Darfur, northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to prevent future mass atrocities wherever they occur. Working with a broad range of groups and experts with extensive experience in the field and in government, ENOUGH employs a “3P” strategy focused on promoting durable peace efforts; providing protection for the innocent victims of mass atrocities and genocide; and punishing the perpetrators to break the cycle of impunity and will utilize field analysis and policy advocacy to empower a growing activist movement for change.