To be completely honest: when we were hired as the Southwest Regional Outreach Coordinators we weren’t entirely sure what our jobs entailed. We knew it had something to do with implementing STAND’s national campaigns on a local level, but beyond that we had no idea what we would be doing on a day-to-day basis. However, after twelve months, three Student Leadership Team retreats in DC, a National Student Conference, and two statewide chapter retreats, we can honestly say that our time as Southwest high school and college ROCs has been one of the defining experiences of our lives thus far.
More than anything else, the highlight of the position is our contact with incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable, and creative activists around the region. While the Southwest has a fairly small number of chapters, we more than make up for it in quality. Every week, we each talk to five or six of these chapters, and always enjoy hearing about the events that they are planning and the ideas that they have for improving the movement on both a grassroots and a national level. It is always a thrill to provide such committed activists with the support and resources that they ask for in order to maximize the strength of the growing anti-genocide constituency in the Southwest. If you apply for a ROC position, your primary motive should be a desire to work with the most important part of the movement, the individuals who take action to pressure elected officials, raise funds for civilian protection, and raise awareness about the conflicts.
However, there are lots of other awesome experiences that go with the position. At the National Student Conference and at the spring statewide chapter retreats, you get the opportunity to meet and network with such activists face-to-face, as well as to present education and training workshops for students from across the country. As a member of the Student Leadership Team, you play a large role in shaping STAND’s advocacy and fundraising campaigns, and learn quite a bit about the anti-genocide legislative policies that we support at the federal and state level. Finally, you get to travel to DC every few months for SLT retreats, where you have the opportunity to make some really awesome lifelong friends with other members of the Managing Committee and Outreach Team!
We’ve changed a lot in the time since we accepted the ROC position. We know more about the situation in Darfur, and about what we can do about it, then we ever expected to learn. We are better people for meeting so many incredible activists and for getting to have worked together. And we have acquired skills that will last a lifetime, and enable us to dedicate our lives to effectively speaking up on issues that we care about. Oh, and you will learn to pretty much memorize the DC Metro! Applications for all Regional and State Outreach Coordinator positions are due Friday, April 17, so contact your current ROC if you interested in applying!
Your loyal ROCs,
Mickey Jackson and Katie Malaspina