Fast Facts: Sean Langberg is STAND’s current Education Coordinator, and is a senior, studying Geography and Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. He is also involved with STAND UNC, and has previously served as co-facilitator of his chapter.
Why did you first get involved in STAND and how have you been involved since then?
I first got involved in STAND during my first year in college partially by chance. I knew I wanted to do something with an international focus, but STAND was the first table I came across at UNC’s club fair. I was instantly hooked. I worked closely with Erin Murphy, the UNC chapter co-chair and Regional Organizer, and then became Education Coordinator the following year.
Name a favorite STAND memory!
How much time do we have? One that sticks out is when I lobbied Richard Burr, a neoconservative senator from North Carolina. When we walked into his office, we were placed in chairs under a machete hanging on the wall. By the end of the meeting, his aide agreed to follow up with Burr about Sudan legislation and how his office could work with STAND. It proved that genocide prevention can be a bipartisan issue with some crafty language and creative entry points.
What has your experience being on the MC been like?
One of the best of my four college years. I’ve made some of my best friends working late into the night drafting campaign plans on the floor of hotel rooms. The STAND community welcomed me in 2011 when Daniel Solomon gave me an awkward high-five at my first retreat and hasn’t let me down since.
Can you tell us a little about what you do in your role as Education Coordinator?
As Education Coordinator, I’m partially in charge of working with our chapters to be as informed about mass atrocities as possible. Over the years I’ve drafted one pagers, made PowerPoints, conducted Skype trainings, spoken at conferences, and, most importantly, learned from other MC members and chapter leaders. My favorites parts were working with the MC at retreats and collaborating with the education and policy task force.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from your time in STAND, whether as a result of your experiences with your chapter, or being involved on the national level?
I’ve learned that students are uniquely qualified to make change, even when it comes to high-level issues like mass atrocity prevention. STAND is consistently willing to take risks and not shy away from nuance. We know that we can’t solve the problem alone, but we can push the atrocity prevention community to be creative and unabashedly pro-peace.
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