Coalition Mobilizes African American Students to Raise Awareness, Push for End to Sudanese Genocide In Darfur

Today, the NAACP Youth & College Division, NAACP International Affairs Department and STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition announce the formation of a national partnership aimed at mobilizing African American high school and college students around the growing genocide occurring in the western Darfur region of Sudan. 

As a result of the partnership, more than 700 youth councils and college chapters of the NAACP, some 30,000 young people, will have an opportunity to participate in STAND education and advocacy activities to increase awareness in the African American community about the human rights crisis plaguing Darfur. 

“Unfortunately, the voices of young, African Americans speaking out about the genocide in Darfur have not been heard in a way that spurs our community to action”, said Stefanie Brown, National Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division.  “This partnership will fill that void and increase the activism of African American students to bring about an end to the horrific practices taking place in Darfur.”

According to recent estimates, as many as 400,000 people have died in Darfur since the genocide began in February 2003.  Although the number of those impacted by the Darfur genocide continues to rise, there are approximately 2.5 million men, women and children in the western Darfur region of Sudan trying to survive a Sudanese government-sponsored campaign of violence and forced starvation. “These innocent victims are essentially on life support, their continued existence dependent on U.S. and international humanitarian aid and the presence of African Union peacekeepers,” Brown added.

Since its inception at Georgetown University in 2004, STAND, a student anti-genocide coalition, has worked diligently to create a movement of more than 700 groups actively advocating for an end to the current genocide in Darfur and working to create a permanent anti-genocide student constituency.  

“STAND is honored to be working with the NAACP,” said STAND Student Director Scott Warren.  “We are always looking to expand our constituency, and NAACP youth units will be excellent partners and members of our emerging anti-genocide constituency.”

STAND chapters and NAACP youth units will work together on a number of activities over the course of the next year. This collaboration will include advocating for increased federal action on the part of the American government and the United Nations; participating in fundraising activities to aid civilian protection programs in Darfur and hosting local town hall meetings and events to educate the community about Darfur and genocide.

More information on specific activities can be found online at: www.standnow.org or www.naacp.org.

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. The NAACP Youth & College Division, established in 1936, is one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country. Its objectives are to inspire, motivate, and create interest in civic rights activities; and provide young people with an understanding of pertinent issues.

STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, the student division of the Genocide Intervention Network, serves as umbrella organization for student groups active in promoting awareness advocating for an end to the current genocide in Darfur, Sudan and working to create a permanent anti-genocide student movement. It serves as a guide for student groups in high schools and colleges, helping them to develop their grassroots efforts for Darfur and anti-genocide activism, to unify their message and to coordinate efforts. STAND has become a student movement that encompasses over 700 college, university, and high school chapters across the United States and around the world. Each new STAND chapter is formed independently by students at their respective institution. STAND‘s leadership team seeks to unify, resource and empower all of these chapters so that, together, these individuals and communities can prevent and stop genocide.

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