STAND (organization)

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STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities
STAND Logo.jpg
Founded2003
PurposeHumanitarian
Location
  • Washington, D.C.
Area served
Worldwide
Websitehttp://www.standnow.org/

STAND is a student-led movement to end mass atrocities and genocide. At its core, STAND's mission is to empower individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and end mass atrocities and genocide. Students in STAND organize and educate their peers and communities, advocate to their elected officials, divest their schools, cities and states, and raise funds for civilian protection in order to build political will for ending genocide. Concurrently, STAND is investing in the next generation of thought leaders in the genocide prevention movement. Through training programs and annual retreats, STAND fosters and harnesses strategies that will guide the atrocity prevention movement now and in the future. The organization routinely addresses violence in Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria.

STAND is comparable to Students Against Genocide, an earlier student movement created in response to the Yugoslav Wars.[1]

History[edit]

STAND was born out of the movement to stop the genocide in Darfur, Sudan in 2003. Just weeks after President George W. Bush labeled the situation in Darfur "genocide,"[2] a group of Georgetown students began to organize their campus community and eventually chose a name for their new group: STAND, an acronym for "Students Taking Action Now: Darfur." By 2005, STAND chapters had sprung up at schools nationwide.

In 2012, STAND transitioned into an independent organization. STAND provides students with creative and effective national campaigns, organizing materials and resources, educational information, policy and advocacy training, and a network of informed and active peers. All of STAND's programs and policies are consistent with the Responsibility to Protect report, endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005. It remains headquartered in Washington, D.C., where the first STAND chapter was formed in 2004 at Georgetown University by a group of students.

Campaigns[edit]

STAND has orchestrated many successful campaigns since its beginning in 2003. Some of the more recent campaigns include #EasyAsAPB, Free Jean-Marie, and Less Veto More Action. The #EasyAsAPB campaign was formulated to promote the Genocide and Atrocities and Prevention Act, with a special concentration on institutionalizing the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) issued by the Obama administration in 2012. The APB works to ensure that genocide and mass atrocity prevention are a major priority of the U.S. government, and is made up of representatives from several agencies including the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security, the Joint Staff, and more. STAND was able to use its grassroots network in order to garner the support of key state senators and encouraged them to sponsor the bill.

The Free Jean-Marie campaign worked to secure the release of Congolese youth activist Jean-Marie Kalonji from prison after his politically-motivated arrest in December 2015. Working with Friends of the Congo in the U.S., and joined by many exceptionally brave and dedicated Congolese civil society organizations, STAND worked to ensure Jean-Marie’s name wasn’t forgotten and that the Congolese government knew the world was watching. Jean-Marie’s case has now been covered in global media and by several human rights organizations. As a result of this attention, the Congolese government finally released proof that Jean-Marie was alive after four months of internment, and transferred him out of a National Intelligence Agency cell to a prison to await trial.

STAND partnered with Aegis Students in the United Kingdom to form The Less Veto More Action campaign. The campaign recognizes that gridlock and political standoffs in the United Nations Security Council have long prevented mass atrocity-referencing resolutions from passing. As such, conflicts in STAND’s priority crisis zones have worsened and lifesaving aid has been withheld from victims of mass atrocities. The campaign calls for United Nations member states to sign a “Code of Conduct” urging the Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia, China) to voluntarily restrain their veto power when voting on a resolution that addresses mass atrocity situations.

Organizational Structure[edit]

STAND is unique to the atrocity prevention movement in that it is led completely by students. STAND is run by a Managing Committee made up of twelve students who are responsible for developing campaigns, advocacy and organizing strategies, and policy resources. The Managing Committee works as a resource for students leaders to be effective organizers on their campuses and communities. The Managing Committee is assisted by one full-time staff member and Task Forces of student leaders. The Student Leadership Team, made up of the Managing Committee and Task Forces, is completely responsible for running STAND.

Each new STAND chapter is formed independently by students at their respective school. STAND chapters raise awareness on their campuses and in their communities, advocate to their elected officials for substantial legislative action, divest their schools, cities and states, and raise funds for civilian protection. All of STAND's national campaigns and resources are developed, implemented and distributed entirely by the Student Leadership Team.

Student Directors[edit]

Name College Time Served
Patrick Schmitt Georgetown University 2005–2006
Erin Mazursky Georgetown University 2006–2007
Scott Warren Brown University 2007–2008
Nicholas Gaw Swarthmore College 2008–2009
Layla Amjadi Harvard University 2009–2010
Andrea Hong Smith College 2010–2011
Daniel Solomon Georgetown University 2011–2012
Mickey Jackson Catholic University of America 2012-2013
Hannah Finnie Emory University 2013-2014
Natasha Kieval Tufts University 2014-2015
Francesca Freeman University of Chicago 2015-2016
Savannah Wooten University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2016-2017
Savannah Wooten University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2017-2018
Casey Bush and Grace Fernandes Clark University and Massachusetts College of Art and Design 2018-2019

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cushman, Thomas; Mestrovic, Stjepan (1996-10-01). This Time We Knew: Western Responses to Genocide in Bosnia. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814772249.
  2. ^ "In Break With U.N., Bush Calls Sudan Killings Genocide". Washingtonpost.com. 2005-06-02. Retrieved 2015-11-10.