Endicott College is pleased to announce that John Bul Dau, now known as one of "Lost Boys of Sudan," will speak on the “Journey to Leadership” on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at the Wax Academic Center Auditorium, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly at . The event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.
John Dau has experienced journeys in life that most people never imagine. Dau was born in war-torn Sudan, and in 1987, his village was attacked by government troops involved in the civil war between the Muslim-controlled government in northern Sudan and the non-Muslims in southern Sudan. The violence scattered his family, and, at age 13, Dau was forced to travel on foot for three months until reaching the relative safety of Ethiopia.
Dau stayed in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four years, but when civil war broke out in the region, he was once again forced to flee. As one of thousands of “Lost Boys of Sudan,” Dau wandered hundreds of miles and faced disease, starvation, and violence, until arriving in Kenya. While living in the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp, he attended school for the first time and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education in 2000. In 2001, he was brought to Syracuse, New York along with 140 other young Sudanese refugees.
Despite the initial culture shock – women driving cars, huge stores filled with food – Dau has succeeded in the United States and can proudly say that he is living the American dream. Not only was he able to bring his mother and sister from Sudan, but while working 60 hours a week as a security guard, he received an Associates degree from Onondago Community College. He earned a degree in Policy Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 2011.
Additionally, Dau is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded four non-profit organizations: The Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of Central New York, the American Care for Sudan, John Dau Foundation and the South Sudan Institute.
Dau is now turning his attention to creating jobs in his native land, building the national economy, and providing opportunities for self-sufficiency.
Dau’s move to the United States and early experiences in the country are the subject of the film God Grew Tired of Us, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. His memoir, also entitled God Grew Tired of Us, was released in January 2007 by National Geographic Press. He has written a second book called Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan.
In his brief time in the United States, Dau has earned many awards for his public achievements and charitable work. He is a recipient of the National Geographic Emerging Explorers Award, and was a Volvo for Life finalist in the Quality of Life category, which carried a financial contribution from Volvo to the John Dau Foundation. Dau was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for 2008, alongside the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Joseph Kabila. Together with Former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, he received a Most Caring Award from the Caring Institute. He received an Honorary Degree of Letters from Alma College, and the list goes on. As he continues to work to succeed in the United States, he envisions a positive future for Sudan.