Conference Testimonial: Why You Should Attend the End Genocide Action Summit
By Communications Task Force Blogger Roberta Barnett
I joined STAND my freshman year of high school for a pretty typical reason, learning about genocide in school and Model UN. After I discovered an interest in education, I was pretty much destined to be nothing more than the kid who stood in front of rooms full of kids rambling about Darfur. And that was pretty much me until the end of my sophomore year in high school, when I registered my chapter as an official core chapter. I started receiving emails about STAND events and finally, actually going to them. After attending STAND events, I can say that I am much better equipped as a chapter leader, more knowledgeable on educational issues, and have met some of the most intelligent and compassionate people I could ever hope to meet.
This past year, when STAND was holding a conference for students across the country, I knew I had to go. I already had the pleasure of meeting core chapter leaders at STAND Camp 2010, had met even more upSTANDers at a local conference, and learned more about organization, leadership, and education with each session I attended. I hopped in my car and after five hours behind the wheel, reached the conference in Washington DC.
Even though it was a smaller conference than usual, I was immediately impressed with the panel of experts on Libya and the insight they provided into the then-escalating conflict. I really enjoyed the ideas different groups came up with in the breakout sessions. One such idea — to increase STAND’s involvement with Diaspora groups — helped to shape the concept for STAND’s amazing new initiative “STAND with Diaspora & Civil Society Communities.” I’ll never forget talking with men from the Nuba Mountains, just as the conflict was emerging in the region; nor will I forget the room full of anti-genocide activists who sang me “Happy Birthday” the day I turned seventeen.
This year’s conference, the End Genocide Action Summit, looks like it’s shaping up to be even better than last year’s conference. With a host of speakers who are high-profile leaders in their fields, an exciting agenda, hundreds of activists from across the country, and a lobby day to put all you’ve learned into practice, there’s sure to be something that anyone can take away from this conference.
Being involved in an anti-genocide organization, your inbox is probably flooded with STAND-related emails. Here’s a chance to put a face to all of those Regional Organizers, National Coordinators, and yes, even us Bloggers! Personally, I can’t wait to see you there!