Roz Duman grew up in a Jewish community with many family friends who were Holocaust survivors. As a child listening to survivors share their harrowing stories, she noticed a common theme: in each account, no one ever seemed to be around to help those being persecuted. She promised herself she would not be a bystander like so many of the people in the stories she heard.
Roz worked to raise awareness about the Holocaust when she was appointed to the administration of Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, but she soon realized that this was not enough. She explained, “After Mayor Webb’s term was over, I knew that it was time to do something about the complacency among citizens and decided to organize a conference on genocide and crimes against humanity.” The daylong conference provided workshops on the history of genocide, the current situation in Sudan, and what everyday citizens could do to help.
The conference was a great success and paved the way for Roz to found the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, a nonprofit committed to raising awareness and preventing genocide. The coalition has worked closely with public officials and private citizens as they strive to end complacency in the face of genocide. They have testified before the Colorado House and Senate Committees on the Sudan Investment Bill, now signed into law, and pioneered the Ride against Genocide, a road tour throughout Colorado that attempts to educate as many citizens as possible about genocide and the situation in Sudan. The tour covered more than 1,500 miles and stopped in 13 cities. At each stop, they distributed educational materials, collected petition signatures, answered questions, and gave press interviews.
Since the tour, several cities have asked the coalition to return and provide formal programming for their schools and communities. Roz is also busy developing and expanding plans for the next road tour.
To learn more about the coalition, visit www.ccgaa.org (external link).