The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

STAND Camp Day Two!

STAND Camp Day Two

By Regional Organizer Kaelee Krege

The Pearlstone resort and its animals wake early and so does STAND Camp. The first official morning starts off with some eggs and some strategy. We planned our own campaign for Congressman Naseby (he’s not real, in case you were just about to google him) in order to protect Social Security, just as a warm up to the real planning for Sudan and Genocide Prevention legislation. Up to our ears in tactics and targets, we learned how effective this group of Core Chapter Leaders (CCLs) is going to be. Seriously, these students are organizing/campaigning rock stars. In the meantime, team spirit was flying around the room and all over Twitter. Student donned orange, green, silver, pink, red, and purple sunglasses to indicate which team they represented, but we started seeing alliance teams pop up like team magenta and team watermelon – still waiting for team murky brown. The #sc2011 (please tweet at us!) feed was literally exploding with team pride, making our live twitter feed pretty interesting (not that it’s not always interesting).

Power-mapping was a nice way to for all of us to see what resources are right under our noses and why making coalitions are so powerful in organizing AND amplifying. We spent lunch strategizing our team’s challenge (which you’ll hear more about tomorrow) and got geared up for the afternoon, because it was pretty grand. For some it started with an epic zip line ride through the forest and for others it was a session with Erin Mazursky, former STAND Student Director, who brought some great advice and helped us figure out how to make change on a small scale have large impacts nationwide.

Photo credit: Martha Bixby, GI-NET/SDC

After a delicious meal, we all gathered around the campfire ready to listen and engage with Niemat Ahmadi, an inspirational woman from the Sudanese diaspora who came and spoke with us about every topic our group could come up with. It was just as the sun was setting and night was settling over the landscape, that STAND met a woman who made it her life’s mission to save the people of her country. The last question to her was “how do you keep going?” and her answer was “you”. This alone keeps me going in this movement, and the s’mores afterword weren’t bad either. More tomorrow!

Freshmen at Western Harnett HS become activists for Darfur

Originally published in The Sanford Herald, January 2011, by Alexa Milan

Freshman become activists for Darfur

LILLINGTON — In the Darfur region of Sudan, millions of people have been displaced from their homes thanks to a years-long conflict between the Sudanese government and rebel groups. Murder, rape, looting and disease occur on a regular basis.

It’s easy for people to feel bad about the Darfur genocide and move on with their lives, but one determined group of Western Harnett High School freshmen doesn’t consider that an option.

English teacher Nicole Loomis’ Freshman Seminar students have gone from concerned teens to Darfur activists in the span of one semester. The class first learned about the Darfur genocide during a unit on the Holocaust.

“They said it would be terrible if anything like that ever happened again, so I told them about Darfur,” Loomis said.

The students watched a two-hour video about the genocide and were shocked by what they saw. The Darfur genocide is rooted in a conflict between the Sudanese government and two rebel groups that launched an insurgency in response to Darfur’s political and economic marginalization. The Janjaweed, government-supported militia, responded by raiding areas populated by the ethnic groups that supported the rebels and destroying 400 villages.

Millions of people were displaced. Children witnessed their parents being raped and murdered. The United Nations estimates that out of the 6 million people in Darfur, about 4.7 million are still affected by the conflict.

“I felt so sorry for them,” freshman Ari Banda said. “I didn’t understand why [the militia] would do that for no reason.”

In the weeks that followed, Loomis’ students stayed after school researching the conflict. When they asked their peers if they knew about the Darfur genocide, most said no. The students decided to take matters into their own hands. Freshman Amber Gwyn said though they were just a group of 33 freshmen, they knew they could make a difference if they could just reach one person and get that person to tell someone else.

“There is nothing you can lose from trying,” freshman Jenell Feaster said. “You just can’t give up.”

On their own time, the students shot and edited an informational video imploring people to help those in Darfur affected by the genocide. They distributed postcards to send to President Barack Obama, urging him to support the people of Sudan. They sold bracelets featuring the phrase “WHHS for Peace in Darfur” and raised $400, all of which went to the Save Darfur organization.

“This project went as far as it did because of their passion and humanity,” Loomis said.

Their passion appears to be paying off. An AP English student told Loomis she wanted to write her research paper about United States involvement in Darfur because of the Freshman Seminar video. The video also caught the attention of Save Darfur, which will feature it on sometime within the next month.

The students said they won’t stop raising awareness about Darfur just because the Freshman Seminar class is over. They hope to turn “WHHS for Peace in Darfur” into an official extracurricular organization so they can continue their efforts.

“I just hope the genocide stops, period,” freshman Robin Barber said. “No child should have to describe those horrible situations.”

Check out the video below the students created to educate their classmates about Darfur.



STAND at VCU hosts Partnering with Congo Conference

Our event was a multi-organizational conference held to discuss some of the most prevalent issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In conjunction with Panzi Foundation USA, STAND @ VCU hosted the conference, welcoming representatives from organizations such as the Enough Project, Jewish World Watch, Healing Africa, The Africa Faith and Justice Network, and Global Alternative Solutions.

The conference represented a culmination of months of work. We began communicating with GI-NET/SDC Carl Wilkens Fellow Lee Ann De Reus, coordinator of the conference and President of the Board of the Panzi Foundation several months ago and through STAND’s Google Groups and Mid-Atlantic DC/VA STAND Network, we were able to establish this connection and develop a conference that enabled our STAND chapter to see an entirely different perspective when it comes to advocacy.

From April 5th to the 6th, the conference brought everyone together, including many other VCU students and outside participants. Day one of the conference enabled everyone to meet, greet, and understand the intersecting nature of their work while updating their understanding of the issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Day two of the conference was utilized even more meaningfully to problem-solve for the mentioned issues and understand how advocacy can be advanced through progressive methods. Finally, the conference promoted the Panzi Foundation’s month-long art exhibit at the Virginia Holocaust Museum that opened on April 7, 2011.

Submitted by Varun Bhasin, STAND at VCU

GWU STAND Senior Kathleen Fallon profiled by GW Hatchet

Media credit: Michelle Rattinger

Kathleen Fallon has brought new meaning to advocacy through her tireless work for the advancement of human rights internationally.

Fallon became involved with STAND, the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, during her freshman year at GW, and has served as a member of the executive board during all of her years at the University.

The organization focuses on raising awareness and fundraising for the atrocities in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During her sophomore year, STAND donated money to Banaa, an organization that brings students from Sudan to the U.S. to receive college educations.

"I remember reading an article on the genocide in Darfur in the newspaper when I was 16. I was completely shocked that genocide was going on and even more shocked that people around the world would stand by and let it continue," she said.

As far as she can remember, she said, this sparked her interest in global politics and global events. It also had an effect on why she chose to study international affairs, specifically in D.C. where she could "be a part of fighting for human rights."

Since then, she said, one of her passions has been international human rights advocacy, STAND’s focus. During her sophomore year, Fallon began an internship with the Genocide Intervention Network where she completed a lot of administrative work and drafted progress reports.

"Meeting others involved with those organizations has been one of my high points here in D.C. because they are the people who are going to make change in the world," she said of her experience.

Fallon developed a passion for the Middle East after reading about events in Iraq during high school and when she began studying Arabic during her freshman year at GW.

Taking her junior year off from GW to live in Syria, she studied at Damascus University. While there, Fallon volunteered at the United Nations Relief Works Agency, which provides assistance for Palestinian refugees. She also became involved in the Iraqi Student Project where she taught an advanced writing course for Iraqi refugee students who were preparing to apply to U.S. universities.

After graduation, Fallon hopes to travel to Cairo.

by Monica Mehta
Hatchet Reporter

This profile ran in today’s edition of the GW Hatchet, accessible online here.


STAND UMN Has He(art)

The He(art) Show:

This past March STAND UMN hosted an art show and benefit concert to raise awareness for the struggles refugees from conflicts around the world face. The Heart Show strived to combine art with advocacy and through the use of art, music, speakers, and dance, a unique atmosphere was created. We were able to display art from refugees by collaborating with local artists, student artists, and through the collaboration with locally based NGO called the Iraqi American Reconciliation Project. Through this collaboration, we were able to procure work made by Iraqi artists and refugees working in Iraq. The show raised awareness for people in areas of conflict by using all forms of art as a catalyst. We also had speakers interspersed between bands who performed inspirational pieces and covers about universal human rights and justice. Furthermore, at the show we had a speaker who survived the occupation of France, a refugee speaker who fled from conflict in Somalia, and a speaker from the Center for Victims of Torture, a national organization which helps to assist local refugee populations. We found that having a multimedia approach including visual art, music, and dance was the perfect tool to raise awareness for human rights.

The event benefited the American Refugee Committee, a Minneapolis based NGO that helps refugees from around the world both in their home countries and here in the United States. The Heart Show showed people ways they can help in their own community and STAND UMN was pleasantly shocked by the generosity of those who attended the event. It is truly moments like the Heart Show that show the breadth of people’s kindness.

The Heart Show was extremely successful. We raised $1,000 dollars for the American Refugee Committee and had nearly 150 in attendance. Due to this success, we have decided to make it annual event at the University of Minnesota and greatly hope that other STAND chapters will follow suit in spreading a movement of He(art) in order to raise awareness for human rights. Each show will benefit a different organization each year but we will always focus on issues related to human rights, and the effects of genocide and conflicts around the world. The goal of this night is to spark thought and discussion for different ways individuals can reach out to those in their student, local, and international communities. After all, the world could use a little heart…

All of Our Wishes,

Carly Dooley, Laura Dahlquist, Anna Kaminski, Ashley Probst, and Zoe Carlton

Written by STAND UMN

More pictures from the event below. Photographs are the gracious work of Minneapolis photographer Eric Elvendahl and graphic design is the work of Henry Nahurski.

Omekongo performs at University of North Carolina

Omekongo with members of STAND-UNC

On March 31st, STAND-UNC hosted “Voices Against Violence” with Omekongo Dibinga and several opening performers. Student musician Priscilla Townsend opened the event and was followed by a student African dance group called Zankiliwa. To transition into Omekongo’s performance, two students performed their original spoken word pieces. CJ Suitt from the Sacrificial Poets shared a piece including the theme of identity with African heritage and one of STAND UNC’s own board members, Elizabeth Atwell, performed a piece addressing sexual violence around the globe and in DRC. The UNC chapter was thrilled to be joined by STAND chapters from Durham Academy, Apex High School and Elon Univerity.

In between performances of his poetry, Omkeongo explained pieces of Congolese history and urged activism and involvement. Through sharing his personal perspectives on events in DRC, Omekongo brought a lot of emotion into the event. He stressed not just education and involvement on the part of college students but also the need for understanding and respect of the Congolese people. The volume and the emotional levels ricocheted between whispering soft verses filled with tension and shouted phrases aimed at comfortable by-standers trying to make people take action. By the end of the event, Omekongo had the audience standing, repeating his inspiring words about education oneself and refusing to let atrocities happen on our watch.

The day before the event, one of our board members majoring in journalism conducted an interview with Omekongo. When asked about his collaboration with STAND, he responded “I have been really fortunate to work with you all, because just seeing the work you do has given me a lot of life and motivation because I see so many young people involved in a movement”. He continued “ I didn’t event know that there were this many people that really cared.”

Submitted by STAND-UNC

Apply to be on next year’s Managing Committee!

Apply to be on the STAND MC!

Heads up upSTANDers! STAND is currently recruiting for Coordinator positions on the 2011-2012 STAND Managing Committee (MC), a group of high school and university students who lead the student movement to prevent and stop genocide. STAND Coordinators are active leaders at their respective schools who seek to use their experience, knowledge, and training to support, enhance, and help sustain the efforts of other chapters and student activists. As members of STAND’s MC, they drive the direction of STAND to ensure an effective organizational response to membership needs and to provide guidance and support directly to members. Meet the current STAND MC and read about what brings them to STAND here.

In order to sustain their efforts, effectively fulfill their role as leaders in the anti-genocide movement, and support other student activists, STAND Coordinators have direct access to professional resources and trainings. STAND Coordinators will attend a planning and training retreat as well as STANDCamp 2011 – a week long retreat with Core Chapter Leaders, other members of the STAND Managing Committee and staff, and organizing experts where they will be exposed to skill-building trainings, networking sessions, and the opportunity to dialogue with members of the movement. STAND Coordinators also have direct access to GI-NET/SDC staff, a sustainable infrastructure, and unique opportunities to be active leaders in the movement.

How Do I Apply?

For more information about this and other leadership development opportunities available through STAND and to apply, click here! If you have any questions about these positions, please e-mail We look forward to hearing from you!

About us:

STAND, the student led division of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition, is a network of high school and college chapters and thousands of student activists across the nation committed to the prevention and end of genocide and mass atrocities globally. STAND formed out of the rapidly growing student movement to protect the people of Darfur, Sudan and now works to unify a growing student anti-genocide movement by providing activists with resources to educate and organize in their community, empowering them through an extensive network of impassioned student leaders and advocating for a change in our government’s mentality towards genocide.

Advocacy Groups Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network Announce Merger


Ann Brown,, 301-633-4193

Advocacy Groups Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network Announce Merger to Create Powerful Constituency Focused on Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network announced that effective today, their organizations have merged to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians.

The merger creates the largest anti-genocide organization that combined, boasts a membership base of over 800,000 committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

Both organizations were created in response to atrocities in Darfur, and their merger is a natural step in strengthening and growing the constituency that came together to help stop violence against civilians in Sudan. The merged organization will harness the power of its constituencies to influence actors – primarily the American government, multi-national institutions and corporations – to use their diplomatic and financial leverage to help prevent and stop large-scale atrocities.

"Joining together the Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network creates one organization that is stronger than the sum of its parts and better positioned to make genocide prevention a priority for the U.S. government and international community," said Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, Chair of Save Darfur Coalition and of the merged Board of Directors. "This union combines an impressive network of supporters, activists, and partners that we feel confident will multiply the impact of our work."

Mark Hanis, co-Founder and President of Genocide Intervention Network, will serve as President of the merged organization. Sam Bell, Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network, will serve as Executive Director.  Save Darfur Coalition’s Acting President Mark Lotwis will become the Senior Director of Campaign Advocacy for the merged organization.

"This is a great day for our members, staff and supporters. With a deep history of working collaboratively together, we share the same commitment: working towards a day when genocide and mass atrocities do not occur," stated Mark Hanis. "We are excited by the prospect of combining our collective goals, talent and long-standing commitment into a single organization."

The organization’s immediate priorities are to continue mobilizing its constituencies and advocating for U.S. leadership to ensure progress toward peace in Darfur and a peaceful Sudan in the lead-up to and aftermath of January 2011 referenda on Southern Sudanese independence and the future of contested oil district Abyei. The organization is also beginning a large-scale, long-term advocacy campaign to ensure that the U.S. government is better able to prevent and respond to future genocides and mass atrocities.

The new organization will be headquartered at the Save Darfur Coalition’s Washington, D.C. offices.  The merged organization’s new brand and name will be launched in the coming months.


The Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at
Genocide Intervention Network — empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. Currently focused on conflicts in Sudan, Burma and Democratic Republic of Congo, among other areas of concern, Genocide Intervention Network envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities.  The organization is building a permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to prevent and stop genocide. For more information, please visit



Thought You Missed STANDFast? There’s Still Time!

Congratulations to everyone who had a successful STANDFast! I am so excited to hear about everyone’s events – I counted more than 40 events on facebook alone on December 3rd! I know there were many more events that took place before the 3rd, and guess what – you can still host an event! It’s not too late!

December 3rd has passed – but STANDFast isn’t over. As long as you are willing to STANDFast against genocide, you can still plan an event at your school or in your community. Though STANDFast was on December 3rd, you can still hold an event and have 100% of your proceeds donated to civilian protection efforts in Darfur and Burma as long as they are clearly marked for STANDFast.

STANDFast is not only an opportunity to raise money for GI-NET’s Civilian Protection Program, but is also the perfect opportunity to raise awareness in your campus and community about the conflicts in Darfur and Burma. Whether you hold a movie night, throw a party, host a speaker panel or a benefit concert, or simply table in your quad or cafeteria – you CAN make a difference while demonstrating to your friends, families, and communities that you STAND against genocide. And it’s not too late to get started planning your event today. No matter how small your chapter is – or even if you don’t have a chapter at all – you can still host an event! (E-mail your Regional Outreach Coordinator to find out how)

Given the weight of the nature of the crime we stand against – genocide – it is often easy to get disheartened by both the violent nature of these atrocities and the perceived indifference of much of the international community. Yet through my experience as STANDFast Coordinator, I have discovered that though we may be overwhelmed at times, we are an extremely talented and passionate group of activists committed to uniting students and their communities; a group that will not, and cannot, stand silent in the face of genocide and mass atrocity. A group that STANDFasts against genocide not only on December 3rd, but every day.

We are what CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour would call "Voices of hope in the face of evil," which is also the title of her recent essay, a reflection on her new documentary on genocide, "Scream Bloody Murder," premiering December 4th at 9 pm ET on CNN. I will leave you with this quote, which I hope inspires and encourages you, as it does me:

"We’re always told that evil happens when good men do nothing. And the question — my question as a reporter and as a witness to history is: Will we ever learn? Or will I or my children or my successors be reporting on this same kind of atrocity and inhumanity for years and years to come? This is what I don’t understand about the human race. So thank goodness for the few good men and women who summon the courage to do something in the face of evil, to stand up and confront it. They give me hope."

Thank you for giving me hope, and for being a part of the movement to end genocide. Remember, it’s not too late to STANDFast against genocide – so get started today.