Programs What is Happening in Sudan


  • Date:
    May 18, 2023
  • End Date:
    May 18, 2023
  • Time:
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Location:

Thursday, May 18th, 2023 | 6:00PM – 7:30PM EST

Hybrid Program
Tickets are free but registration is required.

The Africa Center’s “What’s Happening” series is intended to provide nuanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date commentary on Africa-related issues that, while mentioned and referenced consistently in international news cycles, aren’t afforded the attention to detail necessary for informed public engagement. Oftentimes, we are made aware of news stories on the continent in too-simplistic terms that overemphasize dated and reductive tropes, which limits our capacity for empathy and critical assessment. The series will convene panel discussions with policy professionals, academics, and journalists actively reporting on the topics and stories of interest, with a particular emphasis on Africa-conscious perspectives. 

The first installment, What’s happening in Sudan? will examine the current conflict in Sudan and try to understand the sequence of events that brought us to the current escalation. A panel made up of journalist Isma’il Kushkush, activist Thwiba Eltom and artist and political cartoonist Khalid Albaih will help to break down the pertinent political history and help establish the principal actors, major points of contention, and the prospects for peaceful resolution. The discussion will also examine the human costs of the conflict, emphasizing the implications of prolonged fighting on the civilian population and on the next generation of Sudanese youth.

The program will be moderated by Shadin Awad

Shadin Awad image

Shadin Awad is a public health professional and mental health advocate dedicated to health equity on a global scale. She was raised in the Bay Area and Khartoum, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.  Her research and creative works center a data justice lens and focus on community advocacy, narrative storytelling, and liberation psychology as they pertain to the Black diaspora. She is actively engaged in community organizing efforts and is a founding member of the Brooklyn-based collective Madaniya NYC and the founder of Sudan Healing, a mental-health platform dedicated to promoting the well-being of Sudanese people. Shadin received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and completed her Master of Public Health, with an emphasis on Forced Migration and Humanitarian Action at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.


Isma’il Kushkush image

Isma’il Kushkush is a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, the Washington PostNew Yorker, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Nation, , Guernica, and othersHe was based in Khartoum, Sudan, for eight years, and was acting bureau chief for The New York Times in East Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya. He received a bachelors of arts degree in history and international relations from the University of California, Davis, with a focus on Africa and the Middle East and a master of arts degree in journalism from Columbia Journalism School in New York with a focus on politics and global affairs. He was a Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and an Ida B. Wells Fellowship recipient with Type Investigations.

Thwiba Eltom image

Thwiba Eltom is a Sudanese-American actively engaged in organizing rallies and marches with the Sudanese community in NYC to amplify the Sudanese people’s quest for peace and democracy since 2019. She is a mother, daughter and activist who moved to the United States in 2014. She was visiting family in Khartoum with her two young children this April when the armed conflict erupted between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and their ally militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Thwiba and her family exited through Port-Sudan. In NYC, Thwiba is a Program Manager & Learning and Workforce Development Professional with 10+ years of experience in the tech/healthcare, nonprofit, and government sectors, with a focus on youth training and career readiness.



KHALID ALBAIH, born in Romina and raised in Qatar, is an award-winning artist based in Oslo. He is the founder of the acclaimed platforms, Sudan Artist Fund, and Sudan Art and Design Library. His has been commissioned by prestigious organizations such as Amnesty International and showcased at Documenta while also being featured in renowned publications like The Guardian and Aljazeera. With his diverse artistic contributions, Khalid Albaih continues to make a profound impact in bridging the global art scene and the fight for human rights.