Author: John Prendergast and Don Cheadle
Genre: Adult non-fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Challenges: One, Two, Theme (Uganda); PoC
FTC Disclosure: I bought this book
Summary (from the back of the book): Human rights activist John Prendergast and Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle bring us an empowering and hopeful new book, as they reveal the steps begin taken by enraged citizens--"Upstanders"--famous and unknown, here and abroad, to combat genocide, rape, and child soldierdom in Africa, and show how you can be a part of the movement.
Learn how a high school student in Chicago rallied fellow students all over his city to raise awareness of genocide...a former child soldier in Uganda formed a group of others like him to aid in reconciliation...and a mother and teacher gang-raped by soldiers in Congo found strength to help other survivors. John and Don present ways for you to form alliances, contact Congress, alert the media, enlist corporations, and use social media to become part of the solution.
Review: I have always had a passion for the "fight" or the "cause". There is just something in me that cannot abide by basic wrongs. I am willing to protest, write letters, educate myself, and talk about the issues. But what does that do, really? Does it make a difference if I attend a rally, sign a petition, or write a member of Congress? Prendergast and Cheadle say it does. However, if I am really honest with myself, I do not think I have had my ENOUGH MOMENT.
What is an ENOUGH MOMENT? It's when you say to yourself, "Enough is enough. I am now going to take action and do something about the injustices before me." That action can take many forms and this book sets out to show how many ways we can say "Enough".
While this book has the potential to be really depressing, it manages to balance the gruesome facts with stories of people who are making a difference. I liked the upstanders were celebrities, regular American citizens of all ages, and citizens of the countries that are experiencing these atrocities.
The book centers on three countries with three specific issues: Congo (rape as a weapon); Uganda (child soldiers); and Sudan (genocide and ethnic cleansing). Not pleasant to read about, but I have read quite a lot on these topics so most of the factual side of the book was not new to me. What was new was the number of organizations out there that are working to make things better for the victims of these crimes.
The book also lists the websites for various organizations, including Prendergast and Cheadle's Enough Movement. I am definitely going to contact the groups working in Uganda to see if they can help me and my new non-profit, Turn the Page Uganda, with our work. I have also discovered that the wonderful Forrest Whittaker works with schools in Uganda. Warning to Forrest, I'm going to contact you!
East Africa is such a beautiful and fascinating part of the world. While I have only been to Kenya, I plan on visiting Uganda in the summer of 2012 as part of my work with Turn the Page Uganda. Click to see my updated Google Map.