January 28th, 2008 5:33 pm | by Shefali Kulkarni News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, Politics

Local Activist Writes from Darfur


Katie-Jay Scott is craving chocolate—badly. And not just any kind of chocolate. Dark, fair-trade chocolate—the kind that blends in exotic flavors like lavender, mint or orange. And only Portland's got 'em. She finished her last stash of ginger-dark chocolate on Jan. 21 and is kicking herself for not bringing more.

Scott is currently posted in Darfur, Sudan, where she documents the lives of refugee families to show and motivate Portlanders to help. She is an integral part of the Stop Genocide Now volunteer group based in California. As the head of the Portland branch of Stop Genocide Now, Scott is hoping to connect Portland communities with those in Darfur.

“Stalin once said, ‘One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic,'" Scott says. "[Stop Genocide Now] personalizes the genocide in Darfur, making it easier for people to wrap their minds around the atrocities through meeting individuals and hearing their stories," says Scott.

Scott has been working with Stop Genocide Now as a volunteer since June 2007 and became the organization's second paid full-time member in September.

Scott and S.G.N. co-founder Gabriel Stauring are interviewing children and women in the Darfur refugee camps. They film and edit videos, photograph and blog posts and share them on S.G.N's website. This project is called i-ACT, or interactive activism—where people connect to Darfur refugees on a personal level through videos and blog posts.

Already students at Crossler Middle School in Salem have replied to Scott after reading her blog and watching the YouTube videos. A teacher in Canby routinely shares Scott's blog posts with her students. In March, Scott and her SGN co-workers will return to Darfur and begin the i-ACT Rhythm and Hope Tour with singer Macy Gray.

WW will be posting some of Scott's most recent posts from Darfur, including video footage and photos. For more information on Stop Genocide Now, please visit its website.

Here's a video of a visit to the refugee camp's school earlier this month :
[youtube h2m8fqR-heU&rel=1]

To support Stop Genocide Now, click here.
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