In the build-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics - an event meant to engender the spirit of international cooperation, equality, and human dignity - this project asks: where will Darfur be by 2008?
The commitment includes:
Outreach to Olympic and elite athletes around the world, creating a group of educated, organized and outspoken advocates for Darfur.
Localize the message, leading a global public relations campaign in which athletes speak to the media, their governments and their fans about the crisis and what their country - and the world - can do to end the crisis.
Serve as a clearing house for events and opportunities that athletes' unique voice and celebrity would contribute greatly to.
At the 2006 Turin Olympics, Joey represented the United States as a member of the men's USA Speed skating team. After winning gold in the 500m race and silver in the 1000m, he chose to use the spotlight and his medal bonuses to benefit refugees of the violence and chaos in Darfur.
Joey challenged other Olympians, sponsors, and individuals around the world to join him. As he said at the time, 'What little bit I could do is a small drop in the bucket as compared to what many people can do together.' Right To Play received more than $500,000 as a result of that challenge, and Time magazine named Joey one of their '100 people who shape our world.' Sponsors, Olympic organizations, other Olympians, and individuals across the globe rose to the occasion.
Since the 2006 Olympics, Joey has traveled the U.S., educating Americans about Darfur and Right To Play's mission. He has spoken at Save Darfur rallies, lobbied members of Congress, and brought his message to colleges and universities through a partnership with mtvU, a television network that reaches more than seven million students.
Team Darfur is founded upon the principle that this small success can be a model for greater good in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics if athletes around the world unite against these atrocities. The result can be 3.9 billion Olympic viewers aware of the tradgedies in Darfur, which will create pressure on governments to protect and offer relief to the people of Darfur.
Opportunities for partnership exist with any corporation or entity connected with professional or amateur sports, the media, corporate sponsors, or the ongoing work to end the crisis in Darfur. In particular, international media connections, corporate social responsibility expertise, translation assistance, and advice on athlete recruitment are all crucial to our work.
For more information, please contact Martha Heinemann Bixby, Director, www.TeamDarfur.org <http://www.TeamDarfur.org>.