The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

UpSTANDer of the Week: Ashley Jowell of Durham, N.C.

Name: Ashley Jowell

Position: Durham Academy STAND Chapter Leader

City: Durham, North Carolina


What’s your story?

            I’m from Durham, North Carolina and have lived there my entire life. My sister and I have always been passionate about fighting genocide and helping others around the world. My interest and passion for fighting genocide began when I first learned about the Holocaust in my Hebrew School class and my parents.

 Inspired by this, from a young age, my sister and I would raise money for the Save Darfur Coalition.  Two and a half years ago, we were in Chautauqua, New York doing a fundraiser for Save Darfur and a student came up to us and told us about STAND. At the time, I didn’t consider being a part of it, but over the past summer, once I decided that I wanted to form an anti-genocide club at my school, I remembered STAND. After finding more out about STAND, I realized how wonderful it was and knew it was the club that was perfect for me. This is Durham Academy STAND’s first year, and so far it has been extremely successful!


Why do you care?

I care because I realize how privileged I am to live my life in peace and my goal is to help those less fortunate then myself. Listening to Carl Wilkens at the North Carolina STAND retreat last Saturday confirmed my belief that we are all part of one race: the human race, as Mr. Wilkens said. I feel that it is my moral obligation to help people less fortunate then myself and to help fellow human beings across the world. Why would one not want to make a difference and help save the lives of others who are in an inhumane and unjust situation?


What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to help strengthen and develop my chapter at Durham Academy. We are working on having Carl Wilkens come to our school and we also hope to organize a 5k and vigil service with other STAND Chapters in our area. We aim to participate in lobbying events with local officials fighting genocide and to strengthen and help the STAND anti-genocide movement in any way that we can!


What makes me STAND?

I feel that by being part of STAND, I can inspire and motivate myself and others to make a difference in the lives of genocide victims around the world, as well as to help prevent genocide from continuing. My goal is to help truly make “never again” a reality and I know that STAND is a way that I can help anti-genocide activists achieve this goal. I STAND because I know that this is a way that I can help someone suffering under the worst crime of humanity. Furthermore, I want to motivate other people to make a difference in the world and to improve the lives of others who are living under terrible conditions.



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