“What Notre Dame has done is both important and unusual,” said Power. “Students don’t usually act proactively on issues like this to prevent conflict. The response is usually after disaster takes place. I think the story is yet to be written on how Notre Dame has been involved and can keep shining a light on this issue.”
A delegation from the University of Notre Dame that included men’s lacrosse operations coordinator Kevin Dugan and junior defenseman Jake Brems (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Prep) spent time in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. during Monday and Tuesday of last week to further the school’s commitment to peace in Sudan by advocating for full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan.
The group had meetings with key policymakers and non-governmental organizations. Among the stops on the trip were the White House, the State Department, Senator Richard Lugar’s (Ind.) office, Congressman Joe Donnelly’s (Ind.) office, The Enough Project and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Headquarters.
On Monday, the delegation met with Samantha Power at the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Offices. Power is the Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council in the White House. She also is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, foreign policy analyst, journalist and professor. Power’s New Yorker article on the horrors in Darfur, Sudan, won the 2005 National Magazine Award for best reporting.
“Our meetings at Senator Lugar’s offices were incredibly informative,” commented Dugan. “Mr. Phelan led a very engaging conversation and dialogue with our students on Sudan, foreign policy and the global economy.”
The student group then went back to the CRS offices on Capitol Hill to dial into a White House conference call to get a debriefing and update on preparations for the upcoming referendum in Sudan on January 9th. From there they moved on to Congressman Donnelly’s offices where they met with his Legislative Director, Nathan Fenstermacher.
This week’s visit ended with a trip to the Inside Lacrosse Magazine headquarters in Baltimore. While there, Dugan, and Brems discussed their visit to Washington, D.C. and their pursuit to raise awareness about Sudan and to be a `voice for the voiceless’.
In addition to helping Sudan strive for peace, Brems spent this past summer working on a joint internship with the Center of Concern in Washington D.C. and Fields of Growth International. Fields of Growth, which was started by Dugan, is a non-profit organization operating in Uganda that is spreading the game of lacrosse while also developing social entrepreneurs and working with community-based organizations. Dugan has made numerous visits to Uganda with Fields of Growth and currently is working with the Play Like A Champion TodayTM program, to bring their ministry to Uganda.