Elizabeth Hankins’ involvement with Darfur started with a unique approach: fiction. She began writing a novel, The Calling, about the plight of Southern Sudan. “I think art can inspire us in ways that initial facts often may not,” she explains. The goal was to draw attention to the conflict in the region and donate the proceeds of the book to the aid, rebuilding, repatriation, and advocacy of Southern Sudanese communities.
Elizabeth’s interests in the conflict soon spread to neighboring Darfur, where she continued writing and also became actively involved in advocacy efforts. She lobbied Congressmen, made calls to the White House, traveled to Sudan, and started hosting university and local vigils, including one at the Houston Holocaust Museum. Elizabeth also began galvanizing people of faith in her community to become agents of change. She observes, “people who espouse faith are usually committed to cultures of compassion and goodwill; they are almost custom made for social action and advocacy.”
Through her advocacy and writing Elizabeth works to raise awareness, funds, and inspire change. Her goal is to convey to others that “every voice matters, every effort expended on behalf of Sudan’s suffering is one effort closer to turning the tide of injustice and torment.” Elizabeth’s novel, The Calling (external link), is due out in Spring 2008.