The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

It starts with a pledge card

From December 1-7, we’re asking thousands of people across the country to pledge to prevent genocide.  But after the Pledge2Protect conference in early November, dozens of participants hit the streets to start collecting pledges. Vinay Nayak, a high school student in Illinois and the Great Lakes Regional Outreach Coordinator, blogged about his experience:

It was a typical Sunday afternoon in Washington DC: a little chilly and very busy. But when most high school and college kids were busy catching up on a week’s worth of homework, dozens of students and adults alike hit the streets to collect pledges in support of genocide prevention. And it really was an inspiring experience.

We all gathered by Union Station, and after a training session, a few quick cheers and one or two pump-up speeches it was time to go. Young activists split up into groups and started talking to ordinary people about genocide prevention, in hopes of collecting pledges and fostering conversation on the issue.

Just an hour before, we were all nervously huddled up in a room waiting for pledges to be passed out, some expecting to be dismissed by the people they talked to. But we weren’t. We were instead embraced by the over four-hundred and fifty people who enthusiastically signed on to a nation-wide movement to prevent genocide.

When we got back to the hotel and the Pledge2Protect conference, attended by over 850 student and adult activists, a mother whispered to me that the “canvassing experience” changed her kid’s life. That in combination with the conference, the experience led her child to a desire to dedicate her life to the issue of genocide prevention and continuing to educate people across the world about the issue. I couldn’t help but think there is something profoundly fulfilling about talking to people about an issue they may not even be aware of. I couldn’t help but think there are thousands more kids who can benefit from the “canvassing experience.” And I couldn’t help but think it all can just start with a single pledge card.

Go to

to make the pledge today!


Exciting Pledge2Protect announcements!

We are now be able to offer financial aid to more applicants, so get to the site and apply today!

Haven’t made your housing plans yet? Don’t worry! The Hyatt Regency Washington at Capitol Hill has extended our discount until Friday, October 30 at 11:59pm.

This is right where the conference is, and you won’t find a better price in Washington, DC! Even better – you now have an extra week to book your hotel room and receive our exclusive discounted room rate. Visit this site for prices and to reserve your room now! Remember – after next Friday, October 30th at 11:59 PM, we won’t be able to guarantee you a spot at the hotel or give you this special discount!

Spots are filling up quickly! Don’t forget that your spot at the conference is not reserved until you have submitted your registration fee payment. Submit your payment ASAP by filling out the payment form.

Pledge2Protect is just two weeks away! And, to get you excited, here are some of the incredible speakers that will be there:

Layla Amjadi, Student Director of STAND; Mark Hanis, President of the Genocide Intervention Network; Sam Bell, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network; Carl Wilkens; anti-genocide activist, and the only American to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide; John Prendergast, Founder of the ENOUGH Project; John Norris, Executive Director of the ENOUGH Project; Bec Hamilton, author and activist, and so many more! Check-out a full list here.

Don’t miss out on working with these incredible activists during the conference!

See you on November 6th!



Don’t miss these Pledge2Protect deals!

Still haven’t paid your Pledge2Protect registration fee? You now have until 11:59 on Thursday, October 8th for the early bird discount — $99 for students, $125 for adults.  Space is filling up fast, so register now here!

Remember, your registration is not confirmed (and your spot is not guaranteed) until you register and pay your registration fee.

Time is also running out to make your reservation at the Hyatt Washington Regency on Capitol Hill! Take advantage of the of the fantastic discounts offered exclusively to Pledge2Protect participants. But hurry, this offer ends October 23!

You won’t find a better deal in DC. Plus, by staying at the Hyatt Washington Regency, you’ll be right in the middle of all of the Pledge2Protect conference action. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to network with other activists from around the country! Make your reservation now!

More good news – would you like to share a hotel room with other Pledge2Protect attendees? We want to help! E-mail the following information to Name, age, gender, phone, e-mail, nights staying at the Hyatt, desired age of roommate(s), desired gender of roommate(s), and number of people you’re looking to share with.



Giving Sudan its gold star

This week, STAND activists demonstrated just how ridiculous Gration’s "Gold Star" strategy is.  Our High School National Outreach Coordinator, Mickey Jackson, went with a group of students the other day to deliver a Gold Star and Smiley Face to the Sudanese Embassy.  Here’s what Mickey had to say about the event:
I have to admit that until this week, I never dreamed that anything could possess me to trudge through the rain with a bunch of other DC-area students and lay a hastily-made cardboard-and-paper gold star against the door of the Sudanese embassy. But then again, I never dreamed that Scott Gration, the Obama Administration’s special envoy to Sudan, would tell the Washington Post that we should try to end a genocide by "giving out cookies…gold stars, [and] smiley faces" to an indicted war criminal.

We are fully aware that Wednesday’s action at the Sudanese embassy was a stunt. As a rule, STAND students do not rely on stunts to bring attention to the ongoing genocide in Darfur; we are known and renowned for our smart, targeted advocacy campaigns directed at our elected officials and executed by thousands of dedicated student activists nationwide. But this week, we felt the need to highlight the absurdity of General Gration’s comments, and the Administration’s highly conspicuous lack of a tough, coherent policy for addressing the ongoing atrocities and humanitarian crisis in Darfur. And so we took it upon ourselves to step up to the plate for General Gration and give the Sudanese government the gold star that they apparently have so richly earned.

By all means, enjoy the video footage of this action. We meant for it to be funny. But we also meant for it to spur you to action. So please, after you watch the video, take an extra minute to send a message to the President Obama. Tell him that eight months is too long to wait for a strong Sudan policy. Tell him demonstrate that General Gration’s comments do not reflect his views on Sudan. Tell him to personally get involved and fulfill the promises that he has made to the anti-genocide constituency.

Pledge2Protect early bird registration fee offer ends this Wednesday

Time is running out to secure your discounted spot at Pledge2Protect! Register before 11:59pm on September 30 for our $99 student early bird rate or our $125 adult early bird rate!

More than 1,000 leaders of the worldwide movement to end genocide will convene in Washington, D.C. on November 6-9th for Pledge2Protect, and you want to be there! The discount expires in 2 days! Don’t forget to register before 11:59pm on Wednesday, Sept. 30 for our early bird rate. See you there!

Visit for more info on Pledge2Protect.


Big news coming Tuesday – be the first to know!

Some of you have already heard a little bit about the Pledge2Protect conference and are already excited for the anti-genocide movement’s largest conference ever.  For those of you who haven’t, no worries!  Big news regarding conference registration is coming out Tuesday.

Can’t wait? Be the first to know by following @pledge2protect on Twitter.  You’ll get insider info, updates on speakers and workshops, important conference details, and you’ll be the first to know it all. 



Harnessing the power of the millenial generation

Check out this article in GOOD Magazine by former STAND Student Director Erin Mazursky.  Erin discusses some of her most recent work training youth organizers in Albania while reflecting on the important role our generation must play in global politics. 
I found her final words particularly powerful:
"We stand on the brink of a momentous opportunity to harness the power of a generation to redefine the way we relate to each other and to our governments and, in turn, tackle our most pressing challenges. But this window of opportunity is relatively small. Sure, there will always be youth ripe for empowerment, but the Millennial generation is coming of age now, and, given our sheer numbers, will set the political tone in countries around the world for at least the next forty years."

Back from the Break

So you’ve probably noticed that the STAND Blogging Team has taken a little break from our usually regular posts.  This summer, we’ve been busy hiring and training a brand new Student Leadership Team, some of the team members have been traveling abroad, and some of us have been taking a brief but much-needed summer vacation.

Well, I’m happy to say that the posting break is over.  From now on, you can expect regular blog content on our conflicts of concern, opportunities for advocacy, and stories from student activists.  If you ever want something posted on the STAND Blog, let me know by emailing

Hope you have taken your own summer break and are ready to get back to reading some great content on the STAND Blog!