May 3, 2006
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF DARFUR EDITORIAL-WRITING CONTEST
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience announced that Justin Zorn, of Longwood, FL, and Elizabeth Conlan, of Arlington, VA, won the Museum’s Darfur Editorial-Writing Contest. Zorn won the collegiate category, and Conlan won the secondary school category.
Contestants were required to write an editorial explaining why the genocide in Darfur matters today and have it published in a school or local newspaper between September 1, 2005, and March 5, 2006. Zorn’s essay was published in the Orlando Sentinel, and Conlan’s was published in The Yorktown Sentry. The essays were judged by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide; and Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle, star of Hotel Rwanda.
Winners received a trip to the Museum in Washington, D.C.; were recognized at the Museum’s annual Tribute Dinner; attended the Days of Remembrance ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on April 27; met with representatives of non-governmental organizations; and received a copy of Hotel Rwanda signed by Don Cheadle. The winning essays are posted on the Museum’s Web site at www.ushmm.org/conscience.
“The contest resulted in almost 100 published editorials nationwide about the genocide in Darfur,” said Jerry Fowler, Staff Director of the Committee on Conscience. “All of the participants contributed to raising awareness in their communities about Darfur and the importance of citizens getting involved in stopping it.”
In July 2004 the Museum’s Committee on Conscience declared a “Genocide Emergency” for Darfur. Since then the Committee has been working to educate policy makers and the American public about the urgent need to take action to end the genocide there. The Museum has mounted a display on the emergency in Darfur; held educational programming on the topic featuring members of Congress and Holocaust survivors; hosted two national conferences for student leaders engaged on the issue; and more. The Committee recently launched a weekly audio interview series, “Voices on Genocide Prevention,” featuring leaders in government, media and advocacy addressing how citizens can get involved in genocide prevention efforts.