I interviewed Felix Lohitai who was at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia, to look at part of the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. Lohitai is in the Peace Studies Program at Manchester College in Indiana. (Koinonia was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement when a group of Whites and Blacks started living and working together in Christian Community — in the mid 1940s in a highly segragated South.) Lohitai said he has experienced his own segregation. He’s from South Sudan. And he said the Arab Muslims in North Sudan were quite prejudiced toward the Africans living in the South. As a result, there was a good deal of oppression that led to a lot of poverty in the South and little access to higher education, said Lohitai. In turn, a rebel army (SBLA) started up in the South to fight the oppression, and to fight for the basic rights of those in the South. Lohitai joined the SBLA, became a Second Lieutenant Platoon Commander and fought for eight years. And up until last year, the conditions were so horrendous that world bodies and humanitarian aid agencies were starting to call what was going on in Sudan: “genocide.” Lohitai, his wife and six children fled the country several years ago and have refugee status in the U.S. Lohitai is in both the Peace Studies and Sociology streams at Manchester College. At the end of his studies, his plan is to take what he’s learned back to his country to help build as solid a base as possible: in peace. Note: We propose a U.S. Department of Peace that would help subsidize many ‘Felix Lohitais’ (from any country) to get as much education as possible in building peace at institutions like Manchester College. As I listened to Lohitai, I also couldn’t help but think if more Americans had helped finance modest “Habitat for Humanity” homes in South Sudan, for instance , more humanitarian aid in the form of food, clothing, medicine in South Sudan, more education opportunities in South Sudan… we not only could have maybe averted a war (and attendant genocide); but we could have also helped a society become a lot more sustainable. And that would be another proactive world-wide thrust of the Department of Peace we propose.