Mesa Community College hosts John Bul Dau “Finding Hope in Adversity”

John Bul Dau
John Bul Dau

MESA, Arizona -- April 1, 2024 -- As part of its Evening Lecture series, the Mesa Community College Psychology Department presents John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, 7 p.m., April 17, in the Performing Arts Center, MCC Southern and Dobson Campus, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, AZ 85202. Free and open to the public, “Finding hope in adversity: The story of John Bul Dau, Sudan civil war survivor” is based on Dau’s experiences from surviving the atrocities of war and famine to becoming a university graduate, nonprofit founder and inspirational speaker. Dau celebrates the power we all have to choose to persevere through any challenges we may face.

This inspiring presentation is funded through the Maricopa Behavioral Health Grant (HB2691), which is sponsored by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and the Maricopa County Community College District.

“We are honored to have Mr. Dau in our community to share his story that will foster empathy and understanding,” said MCC psychology professor and Psi Beta National Honor Society Advisor Mia Palmer. “His message is inspirational and can encourage us to become agents of positive change in the world. His legacy of survival and perseverance is uplifting and will inspire our students as they study to work in the behavioral health fields.”

Author of the memoir, “God Grew Tired of Us” and featured in the award-winning documentary of the same title, Dau has received many prestigious awards including the National Geographic Emerging Explorers Award, a Volvo for Life finalist in the Quality of Life category -- which carried a financial contribution to the John Dau Foundation -- a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for 2008 and, together with Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, he received a Most Caring Award from the Caring Institute. Through the John Dau Foundation: Saving Lives in South Sudan, he has raised more than $6 million to build and run Duk Lost Boys Clinic and 10 other clinics in his home village of Duk Payuel and Jonglei State, South Sudan.

Dau will share in this Evening Lecture presentation his message of hope and resilience, “There have been many impossible situations in my life, but I keep trying. My family in Sudan thought I was dead and I feared they were dead, but 20 years later, we were reunited. You can’t give up.”

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2024