Many STAND activists have expressed interest in forming working relationships with members of the Sudanese diaspora who live in their communities. Such collaborations are a great way to learn from those who are directly affected by the conflicts on which STAND engages, and to make your advocacy more credible and nuanced. Mutually beneficial collaboration between STAND chapters and local Sudanese diaspora organizations can take several forms:
- Inviting speakers from diaspora communities to share their insights and experiences at educational events (panels, movie screenings, etc.) and chapter meetings;
- Co-sponsoring rallies or other visibility-raising events;
- Attending in-district lobby meetings (those who participated in the lobby day at the 2011 United to End Genocide conference reported that the tone and level of conversation in the meeting was positively affected by the presence of those with a personal connection to the effort);
- Helping diaspora activists obtain media coverage of their efforts.
STAND recently entered into a partnership with Voices for Sudan, a network of grassroots Sudanese community organizations throughout the United States. This partnership will enable STAND’s Regional Organizers (ROs) to facilitate contacts between student activists and diaspora members. If you’re interested in locating, reaching out to, and working with diaspora communities in your area, contact your Regional Organizer. Your RO will work with Voices for Sudan to locate and introduce you to diaspora members who live near your school and have expressed interest in working with students. Your RO can also provide you with event ideas, materials, and tips and best practices for working with diaspora organizations.