Congratulations to everyone who had a successful STANDFast! I am so excited to hear about everyone’s events – I counted more than 40 events on facebook alone on December 3rd! I know there were many more events that took place before the 3rd, and guess what – you can still host an event! It’s not too late!
December 3rd has passed – but STANDFast isn’t over. As long as you are willing to STANDFast against genocide, you can still plan an event at your school or in your community. Though STANDFast was on December 3rd, you can still hold an event and have 100% of your proceeds donated to civilian protection efforts in Darfur and Burma as long as they are clearly marked for STANDFast.
STANDFast is not only an opportunity to raise money for GI-NET’s Civilian Protection Program, but is also the perfect opportunity to raise awareness in your campus and community about the conflicts in Darfur and Burma. Whether you hold a movie night, throw a party, host a speaker panel or a benefit concert, or simply table in your quad or cafeteria – you CAN make a difference while demonstrating to your friends, families, and communities that you STAND against genocide. And it’s not too late to get started planning your event today. No matter how small your chapter is – or even if you don’t have a chapter at all – you can still host an event! (E-mail your Regional Outreach Coordinator to find out how)
Given the weight of the nature of the crime we stand against – genocide – it is often easy to get disheartened by both the violent nature of these atrocities and the perceived indifference of much of the international community. Yet through my experience as STANDFast Coordinator, I have discovered that though we may be overwhelmed at times, we are an extremely talented and passionate group of activists committed to uniting students and their communities; a group that will not, and cannot, stand silent in the face of genocide and mass atrocity. A group that STANDFasts against genocide not only on December 3rd, but every day.
We are what CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour would call "Voices of hope in the face of evil," which is also the title of her recent essay, a reflection on her new documentary on genocide, "Scream Bloody Murder," premiering December 4th at 9 pm ET on CNN. I will leave you with this quote, which I hope inspires and encourages you, as it does me:
"We’re always told that evil happens when good men do nothing. And the question — my question as a reporter and as a witness to history is: Will we ever learn? Or will I or my children or my successors be reporting on this same kind of atrocity and inhumanity for years and years to come? This is what I don’t understand about the human race. So thank goodness for the few good men and women who summon the courage to do something in the face of evil, to stand up and confront it. They give me hope."
Thank you for giving me hope, and for being a part of the movement to end genocide. Remember, it’s not too late to STANDFast against genocide – so get started today.