The first STAND chapter formed at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2004, just a few weeks after President George W. Bush called Darfur “genocide,” and one year after the fighting broke out in Darfur, Sudan. In less than a year after its founding, the Darfur movement had been labeled the fastest-growing and largest student movement since the anti-apartheid movement. By the end of 2005, STAND chapters had sprung up at more than 300 colleges nationwide. At its peak, STAND boasted an international network of more than 700 chapters around the globe.
STAND began as an acronym for “Students Taking Action Now: Darfur,” but since 2009, our mission has expanded globally–to end and prevent genocide and mass atrocities wherever they may occur. Today we continue to focus on Sudan and South Sudan, but we also focus on four other areas: Burma, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria. In addition to our conflict-specific foci, we promote long-term policy solutions to prevent genocide, working with the U.S. government to prevent and mitigate mass atrocities, focus on civilian protection in ongoing conflict, and invest in long-term peacebuilding across the globe.
Since our founding, STAND has developed as a key player in the anti-genocide movement alongside its previous parent organizations, the Genocide Intervention Network, and subsequently, United to End Genocide. Today, STAND runs the U.S.-based youth department of The Aegis Trust, working closely with Aegis Students in the U.K. and Aegis Youth in Rwanda.