College of Arts and Sciences

The Roots of South Sudan

  • Sawa*/ Together 2013

    Celebrating the people and traditions of South Sudan

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:00-8:00 PM

    sawa for web

    • Display and sales of traditional art-to-wear and contemporary jewelry
    • Exhibition of photos of South Sudan by Tim McKulka
    • Video "visit" to the ROOTS project, Juba, South Sudan
    • Informative conversation and discussion


    About the ROOTS Project

    The ROOTS Project is a non-profit organization committed to the economic empowerment of South Sudanese women through the preservation of arts and crafts. By expanding the network of international outlets, the ROOTS Project ensures that the creative work produced by its sixty members, representing nineteen distinct tribes, will continue to be preserved, as well as promoted globally.  The women work under one roof providing each other valuable social and emotional support, while exchanging ideas and techniques.  The Project participants not only come from various tribes, but also are of diverse ages and backgrounds, including elders, young mothers forced into early marriage, women who cooked for the army during the twenty one year civil war or who were displaced be the was as well as recent returnees following the independence of South Sudan on July, 9, 2011.

    In a country where the remnants of war- tribal distrust, extreme gender disparity and insecurity due to a heavily armed population still weigh heavily, the organization has adopted principles to endure ownership of the Project by its members.  The ROOTS Project is a merit-based, non-discriminatory and safe environment for women of all tribes to come together to contribute and develop.  In recognition of the challenges facing women in South Sudan, the Project Provides all materials for the crafts and markets the finished products locally and abroad.  As part if its integrated services, the Project also provides literacy and math classes, childcare, health workday meals for the women and their children, transport, legal support and healthcare when needed.

    The ROOTS Project was founded in 2009 and the construction of the center was completed in 2010.  The ROOTS of South Sudan is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization registered in the State of Washington, USA.  Its mission is to tell the story of the South Sudanese women and to raise funds through grants, donations and sales of ROOTS jewelry to support the operations of the ROOTS Project in Juba, South Sudan.

    Visit the ROOTS Project website, or follow on facebook.