Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND)

Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND)

May 04, 2007 08:00 ET

Media Advisory: STAND Canada Builds Activists Through Leadership Conference in Ottawa

National conference to begin with march to Sudanese Embassy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 4, 2007) - STAND Canada is preparing to host its first national leadership conference from May 6-8 at the University of Ottawa. The event is the first of its kind for any Canadian Darfur advocacy organization. With the university semester recently concluded, STAND Canada is using this opportunity to bring together proven Darfur activists and advocates from many of STAND's 40+ university and high-school chapters. The 3-day event, entitled "STAND Canada GO", will include speakers such as Mark Hanis, founder of the Genocide Intervention Network; planning and strategy sessions with professional lobbyists; and conference events will begin with the "Scream for Darfur" rally at 4PM on Sunday.

The national leadership conference has two strategic priorities - 1) to enhance the Darfur advocacy message in Canada by building stronger student and non-student leaders, and 2) to educate participants through interaction with Members of Parliament and the All-Party Coalition for the Prevention of Genocide, led by Senator Dallaire. Approximately 65 leading Darfur activists will be in attendance, including mostly university and high-school students. Several policy meetings have been scheduled between STAND delegates and MPs for the Monday and Tuesday on Parliament Hill.

Sunday's "Scream for Darfur" rally will begin at 4PM in front of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China (515 St. Patrick Street) with a 10-second scream. The assembly will then proceed to the Embassy of Sudan (354 Stewart Street). The scream is meant to symbolize Canadians' unwillingness to be silent to the actions of the Government of Sudan, and the cover provided by China, when the people of Darfur continue to experience mass torture, rape and pillaging.

STAND Canada is a national student-run organization dedicated to raising awareness and taking action to address the on-going crisis in Darfur. STAND operates on over 20 university and college campuses across the country as well as dozens of high schools. STAND publishes a bi-weekly Darfur Digest, Canada's only Darfur specific publication analyzing policy from a Canadian perspective. With numerous publications in national and local newspapers, thousands-strong rallies for Darfur and ongoing outreach campaigns, STAND's goal is to strengthen and focus the voice of Canadians - beginning with students - demanding leadership from the Canadian government to end the atrocities in Darfur.

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