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More Adult Supervision?

April 18, 2009

Recently at a debate on Darfur with Professor Mahmood Mamdani, ENOUGH Project co-founder John Prendergast publicly proclaimed that over the last year “we’ve tried to assert a little more adult supervision into this movement.” Interesting claim. Let’s take a quick look at the facts!

In the last year the Save Darfur Coalition has actually lost 3 core members of its policy team, including  Senior Director for International Policy and Advocacy Amjad Atallah, Isaac Shapiro and Mohamed  Abdel Dayem, none of which were replaced. While the ENOUGH Project lost co-founder Gayle Smith and former acting Executive Director Cory Smith, and after months of searching still has NO Advocacy Director. So, for those of you keeping score at home, it certainly looks like there is far LESS “adult supervision” than before, and policy/advocacy decisions are, by and large, centralized in the hands of a very small group with Jerry Fowler and John Prendergast located at the very center.

However, is it possible that Prendergast was actually referring to his ENOUGH Project more actively “supervising” the often hyperactive and undisciplined Save Darfur Coalition? If so, there doesn’t appear to be much “there” there either. Save Darfur Coalition successes over the last year fall into the even-a-blind-squirrel-finds-a-nut-sometimes category.

Unless…one believes that allowing the weakening coalition to dissipate is actually in the best interests of the anti-genocide community as a whole. If that’s the idea, Fowler’s “Constituency of Conscience” permanent anti-genocide successor organization to the Save Darfur Coalition stands to throw a monkey wrench in those works.

Regardless of the future, the past and future of the Save Darfur movement is marked by precious little “adult supervision” and has largely run its due course. The obvious question is Where do we go from here? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not so obvious.

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