The Winona State University Lyceum Series and WSU-Rochester will host a free community outreach event on “Fighting for Peace, Culture and Human Dignity in South Sudan,” with Conradin Perner, 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the University Center Rochester, Coffman Hall 206-208.

Perner will share his experiences helping to build a civic society and democratic institutions from indigenous traditions in the new country of South Sudan. In addition to laying the ground for progressive constitutional measures, Perner and his team developed one of the most impressive non-governmental media organizations in South Sudan.

Come learn about the people of South Sudan, their history, culture, traditions and their human dignity, as they strive to build a functioning democracy in their new country.

This event is free and open to the public.


Conradin Perner is a Swiss ethnologist and anthropologist who lived in the southern regions of Sudan for almost thirty years. He is known as “Kwacakworo” in South Sudan, the local name given to him by the Anyuak ethnic community, which refers to a type of leopard. He is the author of the 1978 study “Living on Earth in the Sky: The Anyuak.”

Perner is renowned for his contribution in transporting the South Sudanese “Lost Boys” to safety in the Kenyan based refugee camps to escape oppression and imminent threats by the then Sudanese regime. He also worked extensively in South Sudan for many years with different groups as a UNICEF consultant.  Perner is one of the founders of the Gurtong Trust – Peace and Media Project. This independent, not-for-profit, community-based project aims to remove all ethnic, political or personal obstacles on the way to unity, peace and mutual respect among South Sudanese.

Perner was one of the key guests invited by President Kiir of the new Republic to the celebration of the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011. The president expressed his appreciation by giving Perner the Yellow Star Medal, a symbol of hope and prosperity on the flag of the new Republic of South Sudan.

Those interested in attending the presentation for credit may register at (search by keyword: Sudan), or contact WSU-Outreach and Continuing Education Department at 1-800-DIAL-WSU (ext. 5080) or .1 CEU is available on request to registered participants.

For media inquiries please email Tina Krause at or Andrea Mikkelsen at

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Jeremy Ertl

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