Simon Deng is a human rights activist. He grew up in South Sudan, and at nine years old was captured into slavery during a raid of his village and taken to northern Sudan. After escaping slavery, he worked as a messenger in the Sudanese parliament and later became the long-distance swimming champion of Sudan. In 1990, he moved to the United States. After years of hiding his past, Simon read an article in The New York Times detailing how slaves could still be bought for $10 and has since committed himself to telling his story and advocating for justice. In March 2006 he launched the Sudan Freedom Walk, trekking 300 miles from United Nations headquarters in New York City to Washington DC to call for an end to slavery and genocide in Sudan. The walk culminated in a meeting at the White House with President Bush. In May 2006, Deng embarked on a fact-finding and humanitarian aid mission in South Sudan and Darfur, where he met with leading southern Sudanese officials, including the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir.