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Emmanuel Jal: From War Child to Activist



Life + Learning

  • Emmanuel Jal
  • Emmanuel Jal
  • War Child book cover

Shannon, Queen's Sqaure | May 1, 2019

Emmanuel started his life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s. He was eventually rescued by a British aid worker Emma McCune and smuggled to Kenya where he overcame a huge number of struggles to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador.

Drawing on his personal experiences and background, he speaks and performs with a strong message of reconciliation and peace, and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre, and the very highest level of several governments. Emmanuel’s vision is to share his experiences for social emotional learning through the Arts Business and Philanthropy, in order to create a higher state of conscious global awakening.

For his outstanding commitment to peace building, Emmanuel has been awarded the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent 2018, Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Award 2017, Hero in the global campaign against violent extremism – UNESCO 2016, The Hunt Humanitarian Award, The Dresden Peace Prize, and The Common Ground Award amongst others. In 2012, he was asked to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, and he has performed at the G20 summit in Mexico.

Emmanuel has released six award nominated albums and has collaborated and performed with many artists, including Alicia Keys and Ed Sheeran. In 2008, his autobiography, titled War Child, was published. A full-length documentary on his life, also titled Warchild, was released the same year. Emmanuel also co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the movie The Good Lie, a film about four young Sudanese refugees and their journey relocating to the USA.

Join us as we learn from Emmanuel’s compelling journey from war child to activist, and perhaps becoming inspired to action ourselves.


Creating Refuge: An Information Fair
1:00 – 3:00pm, QS

Creating Refuge: A Panel Discussion
3:00 – 4:00pm, QS

Common Waters: A Guided Walking Tour
4:00 – 5:00 pm, DR

Emmanuel Jal: From War Child to Activist (registration required)
7:30pm, OPO