Q&A: JOHN PRENDERGAST – co-founder of the Enough ProjectWritten on July 6th, 2014
As an activist, presidential advisor, cofounder of the Enough Project, and the author of ten books on Africa, including his most recent, The Enough Moment, John is passionate about ending genocide and raising awareness about human rights issues in Africa.
But the not-so-public face of John Prendergast is the life he’s led as a Big Brother to Michael Mattocks. As an emotionally wounded twenty-one-year-old, John made the life-changing decision to form a “Big Brother/Little Brother” relationship with then seven-year-old Michael, who was living out of plastic bags and roaming from one homeless shelter to the next with his mother and siblings.
In a book they wrote together, UNLIKELY BROTHERS: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption, John and Michael share their experiences over the past twenty-five years. As John became more and more involved with Africa, he became less and less involved with Michael, who dropped out of school and into drug dealing. The two slowly disconnected and then reconnected at a critical moment for both of them.
JOHN PRENDERGAST is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity affiliated with the Center for American Progress. John has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and is the author or co-author of ten books. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle: Not On Our Watch, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes. John is a board member and serves as Strategic Advisor to Not On Our Watch.
MICHAEL MATTOCKS lived in homeless shelters as a child and began dealing drugs as a teenager. He is now a husband and father of five boys, working two jobs at once in order to support his family. He helps coach his sons on their football teams.