FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FARGO, N.D. (July 25, 2017) – Philanthropic humanitarian Deb Dawson joins the list of human rights champions chronicled in the documentary book, exhibition and film series “Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota Volume 1.”
Dawson is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, businesswoman, teacher, humanitarian and philanthropist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and English and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
Dawson is the co-founder and executive director of African Soul, American Heart (ASAH), where she leads the organization’s mission to protect, educate and empower orphaned girls from the Republic of South Sudan who would otherwise face a life of forced marriage at puberty, early and dangerous childbirth, illiteracy and poverty, and ongoing civil war.
ASAH successfully relocated their students from refugee camps in three countries when the civil war in South Sudan reached Duk County, Jonglei State in February 2014, forcing the ASAH students and their extended families to flee. The civil war also resulted in the destruction of the ASAH boarding school in Duk Payuel.
The organization moved them to Moyo, Uganda, a town near the southern border of South Sudan, to continue its mission to protect, educate and empower these vulnerable orphans. In January 2017, when more than 500,000 new refugees affected power and water services to Moyo, ASAH brought the girls for interviews at a top-performing primary and secondary boarding school near the capital city of Kampala, Uganda. All the ASAH girls were accepted and are thriving. They participate in school sports teams, debate, Girl Scouts and other groups at the school.
ASAH educates students in school subjects and practical life skills to prepare them to support themselves and their families in the future, and empowers the students to be leaders and to give back to their communities so that they may help their troubled nation establish and maintain peace for all.
“Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota Volume 1” is a multidisciplinary media project documenting the human rights and social justice champions of North Dakota. Through portrait photographs, essays written by the participants, and video interviews capturing discussions about the motivation behind and the importance of their work, “Those Among Us” strives to create a historical record of the important work currently taking place in North Dakota.
The completed project will feature the glass wet-plate collodion photography of Shane Balkowitsch in book form and within a traveling gallery exhibition designed to promote the efforts in North Dakota to preserve and protect human rights. The project will also feature a documentary film series about human rights in North Dakota by independent filmmaker Sean Coffman.
“Those Among Us: the Human Rights Champions of North Dakota” is supported by Nostalgic Glass Wet Plate Studio, the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition and The Human Family, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, support, promotion and distribution of human rights and social issue-based projects in North Dakota. For more information about “Those Among Us,” contact Executive Producer Sean Coffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the project’s website, www.thoseamongusnd.com.
Click here to download a PDF Version of this Press Release.
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