You’ve probably gotten countless e-mails about it by now, and possibly even attended, but after much anticipation, the End Genocide Action Summit took place two weekends ago. With almost 300 students in attendance, the conference was pretty huge. But STAND and United to End Genocide did a fantastic job of giving everyone an individual conference experience.
After seeing some old friends (and making new ones) at breakfast, the opening ceremonies offered a thought- provoking perspective on our genocide-prevention movement. We were then able to break up into more manageable groups of between 10 and 40 for sessions running the gamut from the public narrative to social networks to advocacy strategies, which I attended. At the session, there was an excellent balance between both strategy and sharing of best practices, and I was happy not only to contribute some things I’ve learned over the years, but also to pick up some new ideas.
In the afternoon, the participants again broke up into sessions of a different kind. Earlier in the day participants had posted ideas for conference sessions weren’t available at the summit. These ideas came to life in the form of “unconference” sessions, which were essentially participant-driven meetings about any topic—from Diaspora group outreach to the relevancy of the Burmese conflict. It was really helpful to see and learn from so many impromptu session leaders with a variety of experiences and perspectives.
We ended the first (and second, for that matter) day with a performance by ever-inspiring Omekongo Dibinga, and after the long day of sessions, I felt more prepared and motivated to go back to my chapter in New York and make everything we talked about this weekend happen.