By Comms Blogger Tyler S. Bugg
It’s never been a better time to be an activist.
Six acts of genocide have anniversaries in April: Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur. And so it’s wildly appropriate (and important) that April is Genocide Prevention Month. The STAND community is committed to using the month for a deeper understanding of ongoing atrocities and of the power of ongoing advocacy. And it starts with you.
In the spirit of this month’s focus, here’s a list of steps you can take in developing your own advocacy while also connecting to that of others.
- Become more aware. Keep in touch with STAND’s blog, which features weekly updates of the going-ons in the ongoing conflict areas most vulnerable to continued civilian violence.
- See what others are saying. Cross-engage STAND partners Enough Project and Human Rights Watch to find out how they address genocide atrocities and prevention.
- Learn the best ways to act. Become familiar with the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), a norm-setting United Nations initiative that holds states accountable in the protection against mass atrocities. (See STAND’s thoughts about the positive potential of R2P.)
- Engage your representatives. Call 1-800-GENOCIDE to learn how to urge your representatives to declare support for Genocide Prevention Month and for an ongoing commitment to international human rights diplomacy.
- Engage your peers. Organize and host an event on your school’s campus to discuss the ongoing violence in Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, and the DRC and the ways your community can rally around a vision of genocide elimination and future prevention.
- Engage your campus grounds. Chalk your campus’s sidewalks with the striking data representing ongoing conflict or in honor of the victims and survivors alike who continue to struggle for futures beyond fear.
- Engage your administration. Host meetings, circulate petitions, and meet with your school’s administration to ask their support in making your campus community and resources conflict-free.
- Engage your networks. Spread your message through grassroots social media. Share your thoughts via Facebook and tweet a “fact a day.” At least once a day throughout the month, share the reasons why you’re observing Genocide Prevention Month, and join others doing the same with the hashtags “#AprilAdvocacy,” “#genocideawareness,” and “#genprev.”
- Engage those affected. Throughout the month, follow United to End Genocide’s “Our Voices” campaign, an effort to highlight and empower the individual voices of those directly affected by genocides past and present. Hear directly from them about you can connect to and amplify their narratives and their own suggestions for local, long-term change.
- Engage the history of human rights advocacy. Take time to visit (or revisit) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reflect of its applicability this month, and be the change!
And most importantly, further the discussion. Extend the spirit of your advocacy this month into the rest of the year. Ongoing violence can best be met with an ongoing and collective engagement with your communities. Successful change is long-term change.
Have more ideas? Share them with us! Link us on your blog posts, tag us on your Facebook posts, and tweet at us with your thoughts. We want to hear about your outSTANDing work and inspire others to stand with you!