Mount Holyoke College

Weissman Center for Leadership
and the Liberal Arts

FALL 2006

Refugees, Rights, and Returns: Sudan and Beyond

Gloria White-Hammond

Gloria White-Hammond is an international activist, medical missionary, pediatrician, and ordained minister.  Dr. White-Hammond is affiliated with the South End Community Health Center and also serves as co-pastor with her husband, Rev. Ray Hammond of the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Boston.  She is a graduate of Boston University, Tufts Medical School, and Harvard Divinity Schools.  She currently serves as co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur and during her many travels to the region has worked with the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery group to free some 10,000 girls and women from modern-day slavery.  In 2002, Dr. White-Hammond cofounded My Sister’s Keeper, a humanitarian women’s organization that has successfully partnered with Sudanese women to provide economic support and to establish schools for girls.

Zeinab Eyega

Zeinab Eyega  is the founder and executive director of Sauti Yetu.  The organization, whose Swahili name means “our voices,” is a New York City-based organization that supports and provides aid to domestic violence victims in the African immigrant community and that also ensures their access to reproductive health care. Ms. Eyega, a native of southern Sudan, earned her B.A. degree from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont and her M.Sc. in Health Policy from the New School University.  She also has worked closely with health care providers, members of African immigrant and refugee communities, and served as program director of the African Immigrant Program at Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO).  Her expertise and outreach focuses on the Afro-Arab border lands as well as on issues of gender, race and ethnicity, and women's protection and rights in African areas dealing with or emerging from conflict and war. 

Mohamed Ibrahim Elgadi

Mohamed Ibrahim Elgadi of Sudan is a survivor of torture in Sudan and is living in the United States under political asylum.  He earned his M.A. in Environmental Studies at the Univeristy of Khartoum and his Ph.D. in Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  A committed activist on the American national stage and in international circles, Dr. Elgadi is the co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Darfur Alert Coalition, a Sudanese-American group of grassroots activists working on issues related to Darfur.  He is the founder and chair of  Group Against Torture in Sudan (GATS), an advocacy group working among Sudanese refugees,  He also serves on the advisory committtee of Judgement on Genocide: International Citizens Tribunal for Sudan, a project that has created a forum for discussion of the genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Sudanese government led by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Simar Singh

Simar Singh, one of the panelists participating in the WCL Leadership workshop Successful Interventions,  is the Program Specialist for the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, a global network of NGOs that strives to end violations against children in armed conflicts and to guarantee their rights. As part of her work she assists with report development, country research, fundraising, advocacy, as well as supervising Watchlist interns and volunteers. Simar, a native of India who also is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude with a degree in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College in May 2006. Her senior independent study was on “Weakness in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration system: Examining the re-recruitment of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” She spent her junior year in Montpellier, France studying the political economy of the European Union and gaining proficiency in the French language.

Gina M. Finocchiaro

Gina M. Finocchiaro, '01 serves as the associate pastor at the First Congregational Church in Madison, Connecticut.  She earned her degree in English and African American Studies at Mount Holyoke and her Master’s degree in Divinity from Yale University.   Ordained in May 2004, she has worked closely with youth and young adults in Mystic, Connecticut and has enjoyed a broader ministry during her current tenure as associate pastor in Madison.

Dis/Placement and Re/Membering:
The Quabbin and Hetch Hetchy Canyon


Tom Philp

Tom Philp, 45, is the senior associate editor on the editorial board of the Sacramento Bee. He drafts the newspaper’s editorials on water, agriculture, forestry, energy, health, telecommunications and various regional issues. He has been on the board since 1997. Previously he was a reporter for the Bee for six years, and prior to that, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News for eight years. In 2004 Philp won three national journalism awards for an editorial series examining the spending behavior of California water districts. In 2005 he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for a series proposing to restore Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley.

Lawrence Buell

Lawrence Buell, Harvard College Professor and Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature, is the author of prizewinning books of literary criticism and American studies. At Harvard, he teaches American literature and culture courses and focuses also on issues relating to environment, cultural nationalism, and postcolonialism.  He has published several notable works, including New England Literary Culture (1986), The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (1995), and Emerson (2003).   In 2001, his work, Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the United States and Beyond (2001) was awarded the Cawelti Prize for the year’s best book in American Cultural Studies.

Marge Bruchac

Marge Bruchac is a scholar, performer, historical consultant, and member of the Abenaki people who is actively engaged in public education, political work, and historical research.  She has written on Native history and New England and her recent publications include essays on Algonkian Indian stories and Abenaki families in Deerfield, Massachusetts.   She is an acclaimed performer and has appeared at Old Sturbridge Village, Plimoth Plantation, and the First Nations Festival in Montreal.  A highly respected storyteller, she was  honored in 2000 as the “Storyteller of the Year” by the national Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers.

Tina Clarke

Tina Clarke, one of the panelists participating in the WCL Leadership workshop Environements for Leadership, is a veteran activist and serves currently as the campaign director of Massachusetts Clean Water Action (CWA).  A graduate of Macalester College and the University of Chicago, she served as the national director of the USA activist network for Greenpeace and worked as a consultant and director of non-profit programs before joining the CWA organization in 2001.   CWA is a national organization whose grass-roots campaigns, and informational outreach efforts successfully reach over two million people each year.