The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

Arizona State University: RISE UP for Human Rights Rally

Written by Athena Salman:
ASU Senior and Organizer of RISE UP for Human Rights Rally
On International Human Rights Day, students from all across the state gathered at the University of Arizona to demand that the Arizona Board of Regents take stances on the human rights violations in Arizona, nationally and globally. This rally was called RISE UP for Human Rights Rally and featured human rightsteach-ins. The ASU STAND chapter played a role in the organization of this rally while providing insight on socially responsible investing.
Socially Responsible Investing
Last month, I began to educate myself about socially responsible investing (SRI) when I learned that students at Arizona State University were trying to create a committee to assess the social embeddedness of the universities investments and spending. During the Arizona Board of Regents Call to the Audience, Danielle Bäck, president of the ASU Coalition for Human Rights, testified about the lack of transparency in Arizona State University’s spending, leading many human rights organizations and activists to question ASU’s financial ties to human rights conflicts abroad. Students have been demanding transparency with ASU’s finances since 2006 and have continually met with silence by President Michael Crow and the university administration. This coming semester, ASU will partake in campaigns to divest from Sudan and in the Congo. This rally was an opportunity to kick start the campaigns and makes ASU a more socially responsible academic institution.




Mission San Jose High School Hosted Genocide Awareness Week

Written by Charlotte Miller of Mission San Jose High School. 
Genocide Awareness Week could easily have been a missed opportunity. At my school, there are over 100 clubs, and competing for student’s attention, membership, and (of course) money, makes everyone pretty secretive about
what they’re planning. Collaboration is highly unlikely, but surprisingly, another organization was very cooperative with the planning of Genocide Awareness Week. 
The Ethnic Race Relations Committee is a district-wide mandatory club that focuses on celebrating different cultures. They host a Genocide Awareness Week annually, and commemorate genocides past. It has been difficult collaborating with other organizations in the past, and we were nervous that we would not be able to assist the ERRC on Genocide Awareness Week. When I went to the ERRC Monday meeting, I asked if we could be a partner in the planning the week’s events. Fortunately, it went better than I could have imagined. Everyone was open to new ideas and the brainstorming was amazing. We settled on focusing on present genocides, instead of those that were in the past, which ERRC had done in previous years.
The main event of our week was something called a “hand wall.” People stamped their hand print and then signed their name to show that they supported S. Con. Res. 71. We filled up two huge scrolls of paper, and sent them in to Barbara Boxer, urging her to co-sponsor the bill.  Senator Boxer announced about a week after we sent it in that she was going to support S. Con. Res. 71. We still don’t know if we had anything to do with it, or if she even saw our hand prints before making her decision, but I like to think that she did. The excitement in my chapter after that was contagious. We were really making a difference! It was an amazing feeling.

I know that everyone is trying to topple one another right now. How can we not, with college decisions looming on the horizon? We fall into this well of selfishness, and, I hate to admit it, forget what is really important. We have to think about why we are really doing this, why we wanted to be part of STAND in the first place. We want to be the last generation that sees the effects of genocide. And that isn’t going to happen if we don’t extend a hand, in politics, in school, even on the bus, and help each other out. 

Mission San Jose High School STAND Chapter Facebook Group

Notre Dame: Sudan Rally and Playing for Peace Basketball Tournament


Notre Dame’s “Enough” Moment 

In words that would reverberate throughout history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once declared that, “We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today” and are therefore “confronted with the fierce urgency of now.” These words should echo in the hearts and minds of every citizen of the world as we face the upcoming referendum in Sudan.


A delegation representing the Sudan Conference of Catholic Bishops visited the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies earlier this fall to "reach out to the Catholic community" in the United States before making their appeal in high-level conversations in Washington and New York.  Following this appeal, the Notre Dame Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution and organized a community-wide Stand with Sudan Rally and Playing for Peace Basketball Tournament hosted by the men’s lacrosse and basketball teams and the student government. Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. gave the keynote at our rally, calling for international engagement to resolve the potential for conflict. “Peace is possible,” he said. 


Here’s a video of highlights from the event and a story that appeared on the front page of the Notre Dame newspaper, The ObserverSome have asked, “Why Sudan? Why should Notre Dame do something? What can we even really do?”

We care because Sudan is not just a hypothetical moral concern for Notre Dame. Members of our Notre Dame family are from Sudan. Our Notre Dame family too is at risk in this referendum.  So then, what can we do? The purpose that brought us together was always more than just “raising awareness.” The purpose of Playing for Peace was rooted in the possibility that we can harness the power of the Notre Dame community, and particularly the Notre Dame athletic brand, for social change. It was rooted in the belief that each of us is capable of fighting for justice and peace through our own gifts. 


Please lead by adding your voice to the hundreds who have already spoken by signing the petition to join the Notre Dame Student Senate in calling for full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, as well as for all efforts to secure a sustainable, just peace for all Sudanese.Fr. Hesburgh, who proudly marched with Dr. King, offered a vision of Notre Dame as “both a lighthouse and a crossroads.” When the delegation of the Sudan Conference of Catholic Bishops chose to make their appeal to the American Catholic community at Notre Dame in October, we served as the crossroads. Today, through our advocacy, we can serve as a lighthouse and turn the glaring light of Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast’s “coalition of conscience” toward a part of the world that deserves attention now. 


As we have seen, the promise of “Never Again” after the Holocaust has instead become a shameful tragedy that has repeated itself time and time again. Now is a chance to deliver on that promise, to defuse a “ticking time bomb,” and to stop a genocide before it starts. For God, for country, and for our Notre Dame family—never again begins now.  


Patrick McCormick, a political science and peace studies major at the University of Notre Dame, is the Chairman of the Notre Dame Student Senate Committee on Social Concerns.



SmithSTAND Hosts a Lecture on Sudan by Dr. Eric Reeves

SmithSTAND and our cosponsor, the Global Studies Center, held a lecture by Dr. Eric Reeves on December 9th, 2010 at 4:15. Dr. Reeves, author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide, is a professor of English and Literature at Smith and full-time Sudan researcher and analyst. His lecture was entitled “Dimming Prospects for Peace in Sudan: Darfur and the Southern Referenda.” The main issues that he talked about were the connections between the accelerating civilian destruction in Darfur and the growing international expediency in addressing the threats to the southern referenda, the view from Khartoum of Western diplomacy and commitment to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the costs of resumed war in the south, and the policy requirements to avert catastrophe. The lecture was well attended with nearly seventy students, professors, and community members who attended and enjoyed delicious deserts and beverages. The audience was extremely engaged by the lecture and sparked a great deal of discussion afterward. Dr. Reeves addressed several questions, including China’s hand in the conflict and how that affects diplomacy and the role of religion in the situation. SmithSTAND is incredibly thankful to have Dr. Reeves on their campus and extremely pleased that so many people came to the lecture to educate themselves about what is going on in Sudan.

Watch Eric Reeves on Sudan in Activism & Non-Profit  |  View More Free Videos Online at


Written by SmithSTAND.



Cooperstown Central School “Special Week”- Big Success


“Special Week” at Cooperstown Central School, run by STAND at CCS and part of STAND’s 12 Days of STAND campaign, surpassed our fundraising goals and reached out to many students in the school. STANDLearn was a fantastic success: we filled an entire classroom with pizza-munching students who were interested and asked plenty of questions about the complex conflicts in Sudan and Darfur. Dedicated STAND members spent their lunch periods selling candy cane-grams and ice cream sundaes, raising a total of $1,212 for GI-Net and the Panzi Hospital. The candy cane-grams especially were a hit, and STAND members will spend the next week attaching over 1,200 candy canes to the messages. STAND members watched “The Devil Came on Horseback” on Thursday night, and then a group of STAND members and other students were drawn in by the smell of pizza on Friday afternoon to STANDAdvocate. We talked about how to target our senators and the Secretary of State, and STAND members and students got their first taste of calling 1-800-GENOCIDE and writing letters. Due to freezing temperatures and a poorly-heated venue, the Open Mic Night was not as well-attended as was hoped, but huddling together around vats of hot chocolate and listening to music was a fun way to end CCS STAND’s "Special Week."


Durham Academy Completed Over 100 Calls to 1-800-Genocide

 Event Planning

The Durham Academy High School STAND Core Chapter is holding a pizza event to encourage people to call 1-800-GENOCIDE and sign our petition to urge North Carolina Senator Burr and Senator Hagen to cosponsor Senate Concurrent Resolution 71 in support of genocide prevention. We plan on giving a free slice of pizza, funded by our STAND grant money, to any student who performs these simple, but important, tasks. The event will take place on Friday, December 10th as part of the ‘Tis the Season to STAND’ campaign, and we have a total of 100 pieces of pizza to distribute. After the event, we will alert our school and local newspaper of our event outcome in order to bring more awareness to Senate Concurrent Resolution 71 and to STAND.

With the second part of our grant money, we are placing an advertisement in our local newspaper, The News and Observer. In this advertisement, we are encouraging our fellow community members to call 1-800-GENOCIDE to urge our senators to support Sen. Con. Res 71, and then to urge Secretary Clinton to appoint a Darfur Diplomat. Therefore, we plan on getting our whole community involved in bring awareness and advocating for genocide prevention.

Successful Event

Durham Academy STAND’s Pizza Event went really well! All 108 pieces of pizza were gone! We had over 100 calls to 1-800-GENOCIDE, where people urged Secretary Clinton to appoint a Darfur diplomat, and urged North Carolina Senators Burr and Hagan to support Senate Concurrent Resolution 71. We also got about 80 signatures on each of our petitions urging Senators Burr and Hagan to support S.Con.Res 71 as well, and these petitions are being sent to their office. Furthermore, our advertisement in the News and Observer looked great, and we hope that it raises awareness about STAND and how simple and easy it is to call 1-800-GENOCIDE. We plan on writing an article for our school’s newspaper about our event, and also submitting an article to our local newspaper about our event and how easy it is to get involved in genocide prevention efforts. This is our chapters first year, and we feel that by doing this event we not only helped advocate in support of genocide prevention and participate in the 12 Days of STAND, but we also helped to establish a presence at our school.

Submitted by Durham Academy STAND




12 Days of STAND Letter from Clark University

 Hello UpSTANDers!

I hope everyone is not too stressed with finals and is taking time to enjoy the winter weather. Here at Clark University (Worcester, MA) we have had a very busy semester. We have been working on the semester long process of getting our administration to pass the Conflict Free Campus Resolution. After months of petition signing, awareness events and class presentations, we are finally nearing the end of this rewarding journey. We have received feedback from the President of Clark University requesting to meet with us about the resolution. This process has been incredibly uplifting, and we have all learned the value of being a small step towards a larger change!

All of this is very exciting, but we want to make sure we stay actively aware of all of the conflicts, so for our last event of the semester we hosted an Advocacy Night! Since it is the week before finals, we lured students in with free pizza from a local organic pizzeria: Flats Pizza. We offered a slice of pizza in exchange for a phone call or written letter to Secretary Hilary Clinton urging her to immediately appoint an ambassador-level diplomat for Darfur. Since we have been so busy with the initiative, we took time during this event to have out informational literature about Sudan and Burma, in order to keep the Clark community informed on all of the current incidences of genocide.

We also participated in Lisa Shannon’s (author of “A Thousand Sisters”) virtual rally outside of the State Department between December 6 and 10 demanding a comprehensive plan for Congo. Since we couldn’t be there in person, we took pictures of our STAND members holding signs urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make peace in the Congo a priority and posted them to the Outcry for Congo Facebook page.

The event was a big success! We had a turn out of about 40 students and wrote a collective 200 letters! At the event, we provided scripts for calling 1-800-GENOCIDE and for writing letters to Secretary Clinton. The photo campaign was a big success as well! All and all, Advocacy Night was a delicious and relaxing way to end a productive semester and participate in the 12 Days of STAND!!

Clark University



Cooperstown Central School Hosts Second Annual “Special Week”

Cooperstown Central School’s STAND is having their second annual "Special Week." The week is kicked off with STANDLearn, where students from all grade levels come, enjoy pizza and learn about Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo from our expert core members. After our start in education, we hope that the students will be more involved and aware of the other upcoming events. To raise money for GI-NET, STAND members are rolling up their sleeves and serving ice cream sundaes throughout the lunch periods to grades eight through twelve. The momentum we gain throughout the week from STANDLearn, and from daily announcements of facts about genocides, will translate into an advocacy event on Friday: STANDAdvocate. As it is our first advocacy event ever, STAND members at CCS are a little nervous, but also very excited to spend an hour calling 1-800-GENOCIDE! We’re hoping to get a taste of what real advocacy and lobbying are. Finally, the "Special Week" will close with an Open Mic Night at a local venue: we have bands coming in from several different schools, and there will be plenty of music, poetry, and food for both the students and the community to enjoy! 

President Obama on MTV Tomorrow: Tweet about Sudan

President Obama will be answering questions LIVE on MTV and BET at 4:00 p.m. EST tomorrow, October 14. This is our opportunity to ask President Barack Obama what he will do to prevent war in Sudan and hear his response live on TV! 

The show will be taking questions directly from Twitter.  To get a question about Sudan included, we have to shut down the twitter stream with as many users as possible, all tweeting Sudan questions with the same hashtag.  We need 200 people (BARE MINIMUM) to tweet or retweet a question before 4 PM EST tomorrow.

Here’s what we would have to do – it’s simple:

1) Tweet a question about Sudan (sample tweet below) numerous times between now and 4:00 PM EST tomorrow (Thursday). (We’ll be able to tweet during the live show as well, but it will be a cumulative count).  

#asksudan Pres. Obama, what steps will you take to prevent the outbreak of war following Southern Sudan’s referendum in Jan.? 

2) Be original with your question but you MUST include #asksudan for this to work
3) Find 5 other people (call, email, text, tweet, facebook) and commit them to taking this action as well.  We need 200 ORIGINAL users to tweet to even make a dent in this thing…so 5 people tweeting 100 times doesn’t count.  Pull out all the stops.  Get on the phone and have people tweet as you are talking to them.  Bare minimum – friends/members can just retweet you.  Don’t have twitter?  Email me and I’ll walk you through setting it up!

Through our pressure, we made Darfur a campaign issue in 2008 and got campaign promises from President Obama on Sudan. This is a great chance for us to keep Sudan and the upcoming January referendum on President Obama’s agenda. The traffic on this site will be heavy and for us to get noticed, we’ll have to have a lot of weight. Tweet yourself, tag your friends, and retweet! 

Read more about the program:

Include your tweet and the link above in your facebook status for the extra mile (or share the post on the facebook standnow page)



STAND Retreat at Smith College

The STAND chapter at Smith College in Massachusetts held a retreat this past weekend to engage students in the northeast region. It was an intimate weekend where 15 high school and college students from seven different STAND chapters learned about Sudan, Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo and how to use their individual passion to entice others to stand up too.

The SmithSTAND chapter began planning the retreat this past summer after Student Director Andrea Hong and Outreach Coordinator MacKenzie Hamilton attended STAND Camp in July. Their experiences at STAND Camp inspired them to give students the same training they received. The retreat was held on Columbus Day Weekend to symbolize that in America, we get a day off to celebrate the genocide and imperialism Christopher Columbus committed in 1492.

The retreat was jam packed with training sessions and events to give the attendants a well-rounded perspective of activism. Attendants learned about government activism, old media and social media strategies and updated information on STAND’s areas of engagement. New York artists, Alsarah and the Nubatones, performed as well, demonstrating that activism cannot be placed in box. Alsarah is originally from Khartoum, Sudan, but she fled to Yemen when she was eight years old. In 1994, Alsarah moved to the U.S. due to the Yemen civil war.She uses her passion and talent to reach out to others. Attendants on Saturday and Sunday learned how to share their stories through the powerful rhetoric President Barack Obama used during his 2008 campaign. If you want others to stand up with you, you have to develop a relationship with that person. The best way to do that is through stories. Retreat planner Mackenzie Hamilton said that the biggest highlight of the retreat was hearing the student’s stories, “It was incredible hearing them develop their stories and how they used them to empower everyone at the retreat. I know that they will be able to take their stories and empower others later on.”

Being an upstander is not an easy task. That is why passion is a must. We can keep our passion inside, but that would be a waste. We all have talents, skills and resources we can filter our passion through, but it is far better to use our passion to motivate others and help them find their way to stand up. That’s what the SmithSTAND chapter did. How are you going to use your passion?

Check out SmithSTAND on Facebook at