The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

“We Choose Peace” Reflections

Jessica Pham, STAND’s Media Coordinator, attended Sunday’s "We Choose Peace" rally in Washington, D.C. The rally was a chance for Sudanese, South Sudanese, and advocates to come together to celebrate the independence of South Sudan and to reaffirm a commitment to choosing peace in Sudan and South Sudan.

The event featured dancing, singing, live music, speeches, and a vote. With two large ballot boxes on the stage, attendees were able to vote for either “War” or “Peace.” Can you guess which one won? Read on to find out in STAND’s first ever Storify!

"We Choose Peace" Reflections

Scores of people turned out to the "We Choose Peace" rally that demanded the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to establish peace for their citizens.

Storified by · Wed, Jul 11 2012 07:52:03

                                        “This is our baby’s first rally!”
Will you #ChoosePeace?

Despite unfavorable summer weather in DC–first grimy heat, and then a downpour of rain–approximately 120 students and professionals, activists and advocates, and Americans and Sudanese attended the “We Choose Peace” rally in Washington, DC on Sunday afternoon. The purpose of the rally, which took place across the street from the White House at Lafayette Park, was to show solidarity with the people of Sudan and South Sudan and demand a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflicts within and between the two countries.

Monday, July 9 marked South Sudan’s first Independence Day. While many celebrate for the world’s newest nation, the celebrations are marred by continued fighting in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, and by major governance and humanitarian challenges throughout South Sudan. In addition, mass atrocities continue in the Darfur region, and the Sudanese government is cracking down violently against demonstrators calling for an end to Omar al-Bashir’s 23-year rule.

That is why, on Sunday and Monday, human rights advocates came together in cities around the world–not just DC, but also London, Berlin, Toronto, and Rome. With one unified voice, they sent a simple message to the governments of Sudan and South Sudan, and to the international community: We Choose Peace.

The rallies are over, but our work is not and our attention must not fade. Continue to stay involved with this campaign by posting your photo on  Then, share your action with your friends and ask them the same question we have been asking you — “Will you #ChoosePeace?” STAND will be keeping the focus on Sudan and South Sudan throughout the coming semester, so stay tuned for further education and advocacy opportunities.

RT @katiestriff: Great rally for #Sudan- tx to all of the @AIUSAMARO activists who stayed thru the rain #humanrights #ChoosePeace Hamilton
Peace boothjpham1
                                         Ballot box starting to fill up…
                                         The heat is gone, but the rain comes…
Drum circle.jpham1
                                        Drum circle pays a visit.
Hey @MiaFarrow, @StandNow students appreciate your support. Will you #ChoosePeace in Sudan and S. Sudan? Please RT!Mickey Jackson
                                        Mia Farrow retweeted us!
#ChoosePeace for sudan and south sudan Brenner
RT @katiestriff: The dancing has started! #ChoosePeace
Thanks to everyone that came to rally for #Sudan & #SouthSudan! #choosepeace Int’l MARO
                                       Peace is the clear winner.
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