The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

STAND MC Applications Due Tomorrow: Zach Ackerman Talks About His Experience

Name: Zach Ackerman
School: Pioneer High School, 2011
Position: Outreach Coordinator

How and why did you get involved in STAND?

The summer after my sophomore year of high school I was looking for something to occupy my time. I visited my local teen center and began trying out different programs. I went from meeting to meeting never really finding the right fit, until STAND. There I met people with a passion unmatched by any other group, fighting for a cause so deserving of my attention and devotion. I began attending meetings on a weekly basis and in no time, I was a dedicated member of our chapter with a plane ticket to DC for Pledge 2 Protect 2009.

Why did you apply to be on the STAND MC?

Prior to the conference, STAND was, in my mind, a fundraising
organization with little power to make big change. But, I began to
realize STAND was an organization that could make waves. From the
Congo plenary to Burma 101 and lobby day training, P2P showed the
immense amount of resources at our disposal backed by 1,000 fellow
students each as dedicated as they were intelligent. The conference
made me realize that we, as students, held so much power and I wanted
to help guide that power to be as effective as possible.

What was the most fun experience you’ve had as an MC member?

I like the paperwork best. But in all seriousness, I have grown so
much on account of the talent and commitment shown by my fellow MC
members. I have learned more from our team than I ever could from
school or a 9 to 5 job. They inspire me to work harder while being
some of the greatest friends I could have asked for.

How has being on the MC changed you? How has it prepared you for your
next step in life?

Unlike many member of the MC, I will not be entering the work force
this coming fall. Instead, I am heading to college for my freshman
year. Being on the MC and being surrounded by people that know so much
more than I do about everything has helped me to embrace my future
education. I am excited to use my four years to help inform policy
discussions and step up my contributions to STAND.

You can have an incredible experience too on the STAND MC. Applications are open till May 23rd for the STAND’s Managing Committee and Task Forces.

Apply for the STAND MC Today: Task Force Member Rachel Merkin Gives Testimonial

Name: Rachel Merkin

Position: Media Coordinator

School: Ithaca College, 2011

My experience as the Media Coordinator has taught me a lot about the Anti-Genocide Movement and the future career I aspire to.  I was fortunate to have the experience to work both with chapter leaders teaching them about creating media materials and communications documents, and attempted to pitch media on a national level for STAND as a whole.  Tracking media coverage from chapters and creating a spreadsheet of all of the coverage from the whole academic year helped me understand how wide STAND’s reach is, and how impactful student work can be.  Creating media materials and tutorials on how to write documents such as media alerts, pitch letters, and press releases was great practice for the career I aspire to in public relations, and fulfilling to be able to pass that knowledge along to younger STAND activists.  Working on the pitch process for national media taught me a lot about the news cycle and how difficult it is to garner national media attention.  Serving as the National Media Coordinator was a fun yet informative experience.  It was really rewarding to work for the genocide prevention movement and gain experience that I can use after graduation at the same time.

Applications are open till May 23rd. You can apply for the STAND’s Managing Committee or a Task Force.


Durham Academy STAND Kicks Off Conflict Minerals Campaign

About a week ago, Durham Academy STAND members wrote letters to different electronic companies concerning their involvement with conflict free minerals in Congo. We had been inspired to increase our involvement in the Congo after hearing Omekongo’s moving speech at UNC concerning the violence occurring in Congo due to conflict minerals. By visiting the Electronic Company Rankings on Raise Hope for Congo (Conflict Minerals Company Rankings), we could see which companies were making an effort to secure conflict free mineral supply chains in Congo and which electronic companies were not. Next, we modified the sample letter that can be sent to each company (this sample letter can be accessed by clicking on the electronic company) and each member wrote about 2-3 letters to an electronic company in red (or companies that had not made any effort to become conflict free) which were then sent out to the given company’s headquarters across the nation. This activity was an easy and meaningful way that we could get involved to help fight for conflict free minerals in Congo!



Apply for a STAND Task Force Position!

Why You Should Be on STAND’s Task Force

Name: Emma Goldberg

School: Abraham Joshua Heschel High School Class of 2012

Position: Social Media Specialist

“For me, genocide prevention is a family business.” These words, spoken by motivational speaker Omekongo Dibinga at the Pledge to Protect conference, capture why I decided to join STAND’s Task Force in August 2010.

Activism has always played an important role in my life, and I have enjoyed my anti-genocide work on a local level. Last year I worked with students in my school community to facilitate STAND Fast, a fundraiser that involved asking classmates to sacrifice one luxury purchase each day for a week. I also worked with fellow students to educate our school community about conflict in the Congo and Burma. But it was only once I engaged with STAND on a national level that I began to find my anti-genocide work really fulfilling.

Firstly, the relationships formed through STAND are powerful. Have you ever wanted to be part of a community of people who, like you, care about the larger world and engaging in serious debates about policy and social action? Being on the STAND Task Force and MC gives you a chance to connect with peers who have similar interests but can also joke around and have fun. Gatherings like Pledge to Protect show that STAND students are a perfect blend of business and laughter, able to enjoy both panels on Libya and dinosaur Silly Bandz.

Being on STAND’s Task Force has also helped me feel more closely related to the movement’s achievements. In October 2010 STAND students generated over 1,000 tweets asking President Obama how he planned to prevent war in Sudan, and he answered our question live on MTV. In March 2011 we filled Ambassador Susan Rice’s voicemail inbox asking her to promote the establishment of a No-Fly Zone in Libya; Rice was one of the most vocal proponents of the measure in the U.N. I have been able to contribute to these efforts as STAND’s social media specialist. Contributing my time and energy has allowed me to take pride in STAND’s successes as an organization.

If you feel that you have skills to contribute to the movement– whether you are interested in filming videos or writing press releases– you can make our anti-genocide work that much more productive. Not ready for the the time commitment that the MC requires? The Task Force may be a perfect fit for you.

At the end of the day, I’m involved in anti-genocide work because I care about people. I feel a responsibility even towards individuals living across the globe, in Libya and Burma. Genocide prevention work is not just about the results– it’s also about the journey, and the inspiring people you work with along the way. If you have any questions about STAND’s Task Force, feel free to contact me at

Apply for a STAND 2011-2012 Task Force Position Today! Applications are due Monday, May 9th.



My STAND MC Story by Alice Bosley

Why You Should Apply for the 2011-2012 STAND MC

 Name: Alice Bosley

School: Stanford Class of 2011

Position: Outreach Coordinator

How and why did you get involved in STAND?

I got involved in STAND five years ago when a friend of mine told me about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and about the student group in Pittsburgh she was part of. I looked up STAND online, started a chapter at my high school, and haven’t looked back since. The community that STAND has created across the country of inspiring, motivated and seriously impressive students is what has kept me so involved throughout the years.

Why did you apply to be on the STAND MC?

I had been on the Student Leadership Team two years earlier as a State Outreach Coordinator for California and wanted to take on a bigger role in the national movement. I saw how incredible the students on the Managing Committee were when I was on the Leadership Team, and I knew I’d be working with equally great people if I got the position. There’s nothing better than being able to create national campaigns and focus on larger national issues while also getting to talk to all of the amazing chapters on the West Coast. It’s the best of both worlds.

What were you hoping to accomplish in your position?

I really wanted to improve the way that chapters connected with STAND national, so that they felt like their suggestions were actually being listened to and implemented. I wanted to empower my chapters to think big and to feel like they were part of something that spanned the whole country. This movement has done such revolutionary things, and everyone should feel proud of the accomplishments we’ve made together!

What was the most fun experience you’ve had as an MC member?

We had one Managing Committee conference call on a Sunday night when everyone was tired and a little crazy, and then something happened with the phone line and we all heard this insane screeching noise that wouldn’t stop no matter what we did. It went on for long enough that we were all dying laughing while trying to carry on a normal conversation. We finally had to hang up and call back, and then things got more ridiculous from there. Our lovely grassroots coordinator had lost her voice and sounded slightly like a toad, everyone was giddy… We started trying to plan fun events for the nights during the National Conference, and you can imagine what sorts of things we were coming up with. I was laughing on and off the rest of the night and no one knew why. The beauty of a national network: ridiculous conference calls.

How has being on the MC changed you? How has it prepared you for your next step in life?

I’ve learned so much through my time on the MC… about the conflicts, about current events, about how to create national movements, about how to train people, how to lobby, etc. I ran a workshop at the national Amnesty conference in San Francisco this year and had a great time, but two years ago I would have been terrified to stand up in front of a big group of students. Being on the MC has made me more confident in my abilities and has trained me to tackle any organizational challenge in the real world. I’m a much better problem solver. All of these skills will be hugely useful for whatever I end up doing next in life (probably the Peace Corps? We’ll see). It has left me with a sense of justice and confidence in the ability of groups of people to make real change. If that’s not a life lesson, I don’t know what is.

Why should someone apply to be on the STAND MC?

There are so many reasons. You’ll grow as a person, you’ll learn how to run a national organization, and you’ll have SO much fun doing it. The group of people you’ll work with on the MC will be great, and the chapters and leaders around the country that you’ll become connected to will change you forever. I know I’ll have a STAND network with me for the rest of my life… It’s a pretty powerful thing to know. Apply- you won’t regret it.





A STAND Story: Why You Apply for the STAND MC Part Two

 Why You Should Apply for the 2011-2012 STAND MC

Name: Ashton Simmons
School: DePauw University, 2011
Position: National Education Coordinator

How and why did you get involved in STAND?
During my sophomore year, I took a class on humanitarian intervention and genocide.  Working as an intern at the social justice office on campus, I decided to turn my efforts toward anti-genocide activism.  I actually discovered STAND while doing research online.  Fortunately, it was about a week before the 2009 Pledge2Protect Conference, so I booked a last minute ticket to DC and haven’t looked back since.

Why did you apply to be on the STAND MC?
About half way through the 2009 P2P Conference, I knew that I wanted to get more involved with STAND.  I wasn’t sure if someone as inexperienced in the movement as myself could apply for the MC – who appeared to me as the epitome of student activists – but my Regional Outreach Coordinator encouraged me to apply.  Applying for the position of Education Coordinator was a no-brainer for me:  my mom is a teacher, and I was raised with a great appreciation of education, something that was only amplified by my experience with STAND.  Because how can you effectively advocate unless you understand what you are advocating for?  How can you effectively fundraise unless you know what you are fundraising for?  How can you effectively bring about change unless you understand what you are trying to change and what you want to change it to?  For me, education is the foundation of our movement.
What was the most fun experience you’ve had as an MC member?
By far the most fun I have had on the MC has been interacting with the other MC members.  They are some of the most inspiring, intelligent, driven, and yet absolutely hilarious people I have ever meet.  I have never worked with a group of people who can accomplish so much and yet never stop having fun while doing it.

How has being on the MC changed you? How has it prepared you for your next step in life?
Being on the MC taught me, perhaps more than any other work experience – and trust me, I have had quite a few – how an organization works.  Gaining that sort of insight is indispensible for future positions, whether within an NGO or not.  My experience also taught me immensely about communication of all forms.  Whether in person, on the phone, on a conference call, through email, on g-chat, via text, on twitter or on facebook, MC members are constantly communicating.  Working with people from all over the country can be a challenge, but it forces you to learn effective communication in many forms.


Watch the Pledge2Protect Conference Live!

We are about to kick off the Pledge2Protect 2011 Conference. 

All weekend, we will be tweeting live from @standnow, using the hashtag #P2P2011.

You can even keep up with all the conference buzz and interact with attendees through STAND Facebook and Twitter page.

Do you want to ask a question about our stance on intervention in Libya? Do you want to learn how to mobilize around the current budget cuts on foreign aid?

We encourage you to check out the Conference Agenda to see the list of speakers and panelists. Watch the conference on our live stream.

Pledge2Protect 2011…It’s Here!



We have been waiting many months for this to come…Pledge2Protect 2011 is finally here. STAND is about to experience an intense boot camp weekend filled with intensive trainings, powerful speakers and activist networking. Participants will learn about intervention in Libya, continuing work in Darfur and how to successful lead any of their endeavors from gaining earned media to lobby their elected officials.

If you were unable to attend Pledge2Protect this year, don’t worry! We will be incorporating many different opportunities throughout the weekend for your involvement. Make sure you watch our STAND Facebook and Twitter Account for you to submit questions to our panelists and speakers. Use the hashtag #P2P2011 for all your questions, comments and participation. Photos and videos will also be submitted throughout the weekend. Check out the agenda below and read the Pledge2Protect Training Packet 


Saturday, April 16th

  • 9:00 am – 9:45 am: Registration outside the Ballroom
  • 9:45 am – 10:10 am: Opening by Mark Hanis
  • 10:10 am – 11:00 am: Panel: The need for rapid response from Darfur to Libya: This panel will explore the role of activists in the reversal of the U.S. government’s position on intervening to protect civilians in Libya and the progress the international community has made in enforcing its Responsibility to Protect. Discussion will also explore the lessons learned by the movement and how we can better prepare our own response to emerging crises and urgent developments in ongoing conflicts we continue to monitor.
  • 11:00 am – 11:15 am: Activist, motivational speaker and spoken-word artist, Omekongo Dibinga, kicks off the weekend
  • 11:15 am – 12:00 pm: The Choice: How do we as movement leaders and organizers encourage others to be upstanders dedicated to building a world without genocide? This training teaches you how to invite new members into the fold by asking others to make ‘The Choice’ to no longer be a bystander. This session will introduce participants to the 4 principles of organizing we will explore throughout the weekend: Story, Structure, Strategy, and Action.
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch on your own
  • 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm: The Power of Personal Narrative: How do you tell your own story of who you are and why you are a member of this movement? How do you interweave your own story with that of others into a movement wide narrative? This training explores the Story of Self, Us, and Now.
  • 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Campaign Structure – Relationship Building
  • 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Campaign Structure – Team Building
  • 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Closing by John Prendergast

Sunday, April 17th

  • 9:30 am – 10:30 am: Bec Hamilton and a reflection on the movement
  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Introduction to Strategy and Theory of Change
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Campaign Strategy: Organizing Tactics: This workshop will cover the differences between strategy and tactics, how an organizer should choose their tactics to effectively reach their goal while also helping to develop individuals in their community and further support the movement at large.  Participants will work in small teams to practice and create their own action plans based on upcoming policy priorities around Sudan, Genocide Prevention, and Libya.
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch provided in the Ballroom
  • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Campaign Strategy and Strategic Planning: We will explore the strategic planning process, timeline, and tactics and start to create our own individual and group plans for moving the movement toward a world without genocide.

    Monday, April 18th

  • Optional Lobby Day: We will still be holding a lobby day for those who can stay over until Monday to meet with their Senators’ offices. 

Attendee Information

Pledge2Protect Bootcamp
Saturday, April 16th-Sunday, April 17th
Optional Lobby Day: Monday, April 18th


Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University Ballroom
800 Florida Avenue Northeast
Washington, DC 20002-3600
202-651-6000 (General Information)
Nearest metro: New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U on the Red Line

Getting There 

·         The nearest metro stop is New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U on the Red Line. Visit for the Metro Trip Planner or the Metro Rail Map and to calculate fare costs. 

·         Walking directions from New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U Station to Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University

Registration & Agenda
We will begin promptly at 9:45 am on Saturday and 9:30 am on Sunday. Registration will be open on Saturday from 9:00 – 9:45 am. Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early on Saturday morning to complete your registration. The agenda for this weekend is attached — please take a look and familiarize yourself with our start, end, and break times. We will end at 6:30 on Saturday and 4:00 pm on Sunday. Since this is a change from the original Sunday end time of 2:00 pm, if you need to leave early on Sunday, you will be able to do so. Due to the change in format, there will not be workshop sign-ups or workshop breakouts. Instead, attendees will participate in small group-based training sessions in addition to the large group trainings.