Friday, 20 April 2012

Chicago Bulls Star and South Sudan Native Luol Deng Joins Illinois Elected Officials to Celebrate Grand Opening of Historic Sudanese Community Center Offices

The Sudanese Community Association Of Illinois

The following release is being issued by the Sudanese Community Association Of Illinois:

WHO: Chicago Bulls Star and South Sudan Native Luol Deng, Illinois elected officials including State Senator Heather Steans, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Alderman Joe Moore, members of Illinois' Ethiopian and Sudanese communities, civic leaders and anti-genocide advocates will attend.

WHAT: The event will celebrate the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the Sudanese Community Center offices which will be located within the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago building. The two communities will work together to provide social services, such as job and computer training, English as a Second Language classes, day care, refugee resettlement and placement, financial literacy, health education, youth development, civic education and community safety training. Both the Ethiopian and Sudanese communities in Illinois have worked hard to overcome great challenges in their native countries and to succeed in their new, chosen communities in Illinois.

WHEN: The event will take place on Sunday, April 22 with a 5:00 p.m. reception and 6:00 p.m. program

WHERE: The event will take place at the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago Building, 1730 W. Greenleaf in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, accessible by the #22 Clark bus and Morse Red Line.

WHY: Illinois' Sudanese community has faced unique challenges and will benefit greatly from its new community center and its partnership with the Ethiopian community. Many members of Illinois' Sudanese community are South Sudanese and Sudanese refugees from the genocide in Darfur, Nuba Mountain, and Blue Nile -- or "Lost Boys" who famously fled thousands of miles as children during the Sudanese Civil War after their villages were destroyed and families killed. Since 2003 an estimated 300,000 people have died as a result of the conflict in Darfur and as many as 2.7 million people have been displaced from Darfur. Over 2 million people died during the Sudanese Civil War. Ethiopians have faced extraordinary adversity as well, including famine, war and political violence. The Sudanese and Ethiopian communities in Illinois are now working together to improve their lives and to fight for improved conditions in their homelands.

VISUALS: Chicago Bulls Star and South Sudan Native Luol Deng shooting baskets with elected officials and children from Illinois' Ethiopian and Sudanese communities.

Ethiopian and Sudanese children's choir, traditional dance and music and light refreshments.

Luol Deng, elected Illinois officials and Ethiopian and Sudanese community leaders cutting ribbon to open Sudanese Community Center offices.

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