From Child Soldier to Peace Activist

Mar 20, 2014

Emmanuel Jal, Performer

A performance by former child soldier who became a musician as a way to tell his story, kicks off a Forum on Global Engagement at Virginia Tech. Internationally known hip-hop artist and social justice advocate, Emmanuel Jal will perform a rare, free concert in Blacksburg. 

Emmanuel Jal was born in 1980s war torn South Sudan. He was swept up into a child soldiers’ brigade before a British Aid worker rescued him and brought to the UK.  What happened to him haunted his dreams until he began to turn it into music.

Brett Shadle runs a program where he and students work in African Refugee camps.  They do something called, ‘service learning’ where they not only study but also help people and communities at the same.  It’s part of the mission illustrated by this 3 day conference on Global Engagement. There’ll be presentations about 62 different countries, guest speakers and sessions highlighting international study and service abroad.

Former refugee, now peace activist and musician, Emmanual Jal will do a matinee for 1000 Montgomery County middle and high school students at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg. A curriculum to go along with it is aimed at giving students here a context for what it’s been like for Jal on his journey from child soldier to peace activist.

The Dean's forum on Global Engagement is a full 3 days of lectures and presentations --- the public is invited to attend.  Click here for more information about the Deans' Forum.

Emmanual Jal is at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg next Tuesday evening March 25th.  The performance is free but tickets are required.  They’re available online and at the box office of the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg or by calling 540-231-5300.