STAND turns 15 in 2019. The first STAND chapter formed at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2004, just a few weeks after President George W. Bush called Darfur “genocide,” and one year after the fighting broke out in Darfur, Sudan. STAND began as an acronym for “Students Taking Action Now: Darfur.”
Back in 2004, Mean Girls was released, Britney Spears’ “Toxic” was on the radio, and Facebook was brand new. 15 years later, a lot has changed – both in student life, and in global human rights advocacy. Along the way, STAND has evolved as well.
Since 2009, our mission has expanded globally– to end and prevent genocide and mass atrocities wherever they may occur. We continue to focus on Sudan and South Sudan, as well as Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, and Syria. In addition to these conflict-specific focuses, we also promote long-term policy solutions such as the Global Fragility Act.
STAND’s accomplishments include divesting the endowments and pension funds of more than 25 states from companies doing business with the Sudanese government, pressuring over twenty university and city officials to responsibly invest in Congo’s minerals sector, successfully advocating for the passage of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, and empowering thousands of student activists. We continue to innovate our model – just last year, we developed a new Action Committee structure to better respond to student needs.
THE NEXT 15
We’re proud of our impact so far, but we also recognize that ending mass atrocities will be a decades-long fight. As the only student-led organization focused on genocide and atrocity prevention, STAND is a powerful force. Our volunteer student leadership model allows us to be innovative and agile, but it can be challenging to sustain operations year after year as students graduate. A student movement of 2019 must be digitally savvy, intersectional, accessible, and prepared to fight for as long as it takes. With your help, STAND can scale up to meet the challenges of the next 15 years. We’ve set a goal of raising $15,000 from grassroots donors in our 15th year, and we hope you will join us!