During Saturday's benefit dinner, Illinois Senator Jacqueline Collins voiced her support for the Lost Boys of Sudan and the work they're doing in Southern Sudan and the US. Senator Collins has been a strong voice for Sudan; one of her major legislative accomplishments is Illinois' Sudan Divestment Act to End Atrocities and terrorism in Sudan. At the benefit dinner, she discussed the importance of divestment and our responsibility to hold our government, our community leaders, and ourselves accountable.
To divest in Sudan is to withdrawal investments that benefit the Government of Sudan. Investing in companies affiliated with Sudan's government helps to supply the military with weapons and ammunition that fuel the atrocities taking place in Darfur. By divesting, we put pressure on the government to take responsibility for these human rights violations. A recent study found that "70 percent of oil-related revenue generated in Sudan goes toward military expenditures." (Full article: "Sudan Divestment Campaigns Gain Momentum.") While this divestment is growing, Senator Collins pointed out that many large companies and organizations, including the University of Chicago, still refuse to do so.
The Genocide Intervention Network has created the Sudan Divestment Task Force to support divestment efforts. Their site has great resources for individuals and businesses looking into divestment, including a tool you can use to screen your own mutual funds for involvement in Sudan.
More on the benefit dinner, including pictures, coming soon.