Every summer, students from across the country descend on the Washington, D.C. area for STAND Camp, an exciting mashup of education, skills building and camaraderie. This year, the event took place from August 3 to 7, and featured nearly fifty student leaders.
The students spent several days in intensive training at a retreat center north of the city — diving into the policy details related to various conflict areas and learning skills like how to use social media effectively. Dozens of guest trainers attended, including many notable STAND alumni who are now making their marks at organizations ranging from Avaaz to Jews United for Justice.
The event offered an important opportunity for STAND’s high school and college chapter leaders, as well as other dedicated student activists, to share their advocacy experiences and deepen their support networks. As Old Dominion University sophomore Fatima Farhan described it:
Nothing’s better than being surrounded by people with the same intentions and passions as you…It’s just beautiful to know that genuine, knowledgeable people are taking the right actions.
The students also weighed in on STAND Camp via Twitter:
— Zak Whittington (@zakwhitt) August 5, 2012
Dream big but appreciate the small steps and accomplishments
— Marissa Longa (@mlonga723) August 4, 2012
The culmination of the retreat was a lobby day on Capitol Hill where the students were able to put their training into action immediately. The participants lobbied their U.S. Representatives to protect funding for important foreign aid accounts, and urged their elected officials to co-sponsor the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act.
STAND Camp starts the 2012-2013 school year out on the right foot and highlights STAND’s commitment to education and advocacy. During the event, STAND’s Student Director, Mickey Jackson, laid out the plan for the fall semester. Topping the list of activity areas will be a Sudan education campaign, election-centered programming focused on the importance of foreign aid funding to prevent atrocities, and an essay contest to encourage student thought leadership related to the United States’ civilian protection policies.
To learn more about STAND Camp 2012, check out STAND’s five part blog series.
STAND is the student-led division of United to End Genocide. This year marked the 3rd annual STAND Camp.