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Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania help collect a Million Voices for Darfur

15,000 from Pittsburgh and 100,000 from Pennsylvania push national campaign over mark

The national Save Darfur Coalition has announced the completion of their campaign to collect one million voices for Darfur. Participating in this campaign, the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) has collected over 15,000 postcards signed by members of our community and addressed to President Bush calling for a multilateral peacekeeping force to end the genocide in Darfur. Across the state, PDEC and similar organizations have collected over 100,000 postcards.

Senators to sign millionth card. Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD (R-TN), and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will become the one millionth Americans to send a postcard to President Bush through the Save Darfur Coalition’s Million Voices for Darfur campaign, when they sign an enlarged postcard at a press event in Washington, DC.,

"Here in Pittsburgh the response to this Campaign has been incredible," said David Rosenberg, PDEC Coordinator. "Over 50 local organizations, congregations, and students groups helped us collected these 15,000 cards."

According to statistics made available by the national Save Darfur Coalition, Pennsylvania generated 101,067 signatures - 10 percent of the total cards collected nationally. Only California, with 141,333 signatures, produced more cards toward this effort. Totals from other states include: New York: 91,713, Florida: 50,278, Texas: 50,095, Ohio: 32,227, Illinois: 46,112.

“Thousands of people from our community joined others from across the country to speak with one voice for the people of Darfur,” said Amy Langham, Executive Director of Global Solutions Pittsburgh, a member of the PDEC. "Activists from Pittsburgh and across the state played a crucial role in reaching this national goal and telling our governments that genocide cannot be tolerated anywhere in the world in the 21st century."

The postcards are part of an unprecedented “Million Voices for Darfur” campaign that was launched on January 12 by the Save Darfur Coalition (www.savedarfur.org), an alliance of 167 faith-based, advocacy, and humanitarian organizations, to generate one million electronic and handwritten postcards to President Bush. The text of the model electronic postcard is as follows:

Dear President Bush,

During your first year in the White House, you wrote in the margins of a report on the Rwandangenocide, "Not on my watch." I urge you to live up to those words by using the power of your office to support a stronger multi-national force to protect the civilians of Darfur.

Click here to sign a postcard

Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D., chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition’s Million Voices for Darfur campaign, noted, “A million Americans have joined the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition in declaring ‘Not On Our Watch.’ It is imperative the President understand what these million Americans do: a United Nations peacekeeping force will be the only true protection for the refugees of Darfur. The President should answer these million calls for action by using his leverage on the Security Council and by immediately appointing a U.S. Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan.”

Political and NGO leaders have been calling for a U.S. Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan to coordinate American policy in the country and Darfur region. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick resigned last week – the fourth of the top five high-level, Darfur policy officials within the Administration to announce his departure in recent weeks – and calls have increased for a special envoy to ensure that Darfur remains an Administration priority. ###

Local organizations helping us collect postcards:
Adat Shalom Congregation
African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh
Amachi, Pittsburgh
American Jewish Committee
Amnesty International, University of Pittsburgh Chapter
Association of Pittsburgh Priests
Beulah Presbyterian Church
Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Calvary Episcopal, Pittsburgh
Carnegie Presbyterian Church
Church of the Ascension, Pittsburgh
Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal)
Church of the Saviour, Ambridge
Community Day
Community House Church
Crafton Heights Presbyterian Church
Dor Hadash Congregation
Drop the Debt - University of Pittsburgh
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
First Unitarian Universalist Church, Pittsburgh
FORGE, Facilitating Opportunities for Refugees for Growth and Empowerment
Global Solutions Pittsburgh
Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank
Hadassah
Hiland Presbyterian Church
Hillel Jewish University Center,
Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Malvin Dental
Mt. Lebanon, Amnesty International Chapter
Mt. Lebanon Emergency
National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section
Navigator Printing (Paul Mathews)
Northside Unitarian Universalist Church
Northside United Institutional Church of God in Christ
Ohav Shalom Congregation of the North Hills
The Pittsburgh Cleric
Pittsburgh Refugee Center
Pittsburgh ONE Campaign
Religious Society of Friends -- Pittsburgh Meeting
Rodef Shalom
Social Justice and Peace Committee, St. James Church, Wilkinsburg
Southminster Presbyterian Church, Mt. Lebanon
St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Murrysville
St. Joan of Arc Church, South Park
Students for Justice, Rogers School
Students at Allegheny College, Meadville
Students at Avonworth School District.
Students at CAPA School
Students at Carnegie Mellon University
Students at Central Catholic High School
Students and Faculty at Community College of Allegheny County
Students Taking Action Now: Darfur,
Students and Faculty at Duquesne University
Students at The Ellis School;
Students at Fox Chapel HS
Students at Mt Lebanon HS
Students at Oakland Catholic HS
Students at Riverview HS
Students at the School for Advanced Jewish Studies
Students at Winchester-Thurston HS
Students Taking Action Now Darfur, Schenley H.S. Chapter
Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, Taylor Allderdice Chapter
Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, University of Pittsburgh Chapter
Temple Emanuel of the South Hills
Temple Sinai Congregation
Thomas Merton Center
Tree of Life Congregation
Tree of Life Men’s Club
Tri-State Region, Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
United Methodist Women
Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills
Veraldi's Salon, Craig Street

Thank you. If you want to add your organization please email David Rosenberg.