United to End Genocide is building on the proud legacy of the Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network, STAND and the Sudan Divestment Task Force, fighting to protect all who face the threat of genocide or mass atrocity, anywhere in the world. These groundbreaking organizations formed in response to the horrors of the Darfur genocide. Read about these anti-genocide movement leaders and the important milestones in our history.
Since the Darfur genocide began in 2003, more than 300,000 Darfuri men, women and children lost their lives, millions were driven from their homes and too many Darfuri families are still vulnerable to human rights abuses at the hands of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir.
Save Darfur Coalition
The Save Darfur Coalition was founded at the Darfur Emergency Summit at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City in July, 2004. What began as a meeting organized by the United States Holocaust Museum and American Jewish World Service grew into a network of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations with more than 1 million activists and hundreds of community groups committed to ending the genocide in Darfur.
Genocide Intervention Network
The Genocide Intervention Network was founded in October, 2004 by Swarthmore College students to empower citizens with the tools to advance initiatives able to directly protect civilians from atrocities in Darfur. An early project provided Darfuri families with materials and training to generate income, allowing 1,000 women and their families to avoid leaving displacement camps to collect firewood – an activity that put many women at risk of rape and violence from groups outside of the camps’ borders. In late 2005, GI-NET broadened its efforts, introducing a membership and chapter program aimed at educating and mobilizing support for U.S. policies that could help protect civilians in Darfur.
The first chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur was formed in 2004 by Georgetown University college students. STAND has grown to become an international network of nearly 1,000 college and high chapters. STAND recruits, trains, organizes and mobilizes students – providing materials, educational information, online resources, policy expertise, leadership training and a network of concerned and active peers. In 2006 STAND became the student-led division at GI-NET, and later United to End Genocide. In January 2013, STAND transitioned to an independent, self-sustaining organization.
Sudan Divestment Task Force
Two college students co-founded the Sudan Divestment Task Force (SDTF) in 2005. The Task Force launched successful divestment campaigns around the world targeting university endowments, asset managers and city, state, and national investment policies. As a result of the Task Force efforts, twenty-two states, dozens of universities, eleven cities and fifteen countries adopted Sudan divestment policies. SDTF worked closely with Genocide Intervention Network, and in 2006 became part of GI-NET under the leadership of Adam Sterling, an original co-founder.
In 2009, SDTF became the Conflict Risk Network (CRN). Drawing upon successes in corporate engagement and the lessons learned from the Sudan divestment movement, CRN calls on corporate actors to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights and to take steps that support peace and stability in areas affected by genocide and mass atrocities. In May 2013, CRN joined EIRIS, a leading global provider of research into corporate environmental, social and governance performance.
Major Milestones and Accomplishments
- The Save Darfur Coalition was founded at the Darfur Emergency Summit at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City in July, organized by the United States Holocaust Museum and American Jewish World Service.
- The Genocide Intervention Network was founded in October by Swarthmore College students Mark Hanis and Sam Bell. The organization’s original mission was to empower citizens with the tools to advance initiatives able to directly protect civilians from atrocities in Darfur.
- Students Taking Action Now: Darfur was formed by Georgetown University college students to recruit, train, organize and mobilize students – providing materials, educational information, online resources, policy expertise and a network of concerned and active peers.
- GI-NET broadened its efforts, introducing a membership and chapter program aimed at educating and mobilizing support for U.S. policies that could help protect civilians in Darfur.
- The Save Darfur Coalition’s efforts to educate and engage Americans to care about the Darfur genocide culminated in a rally on the national mall. Save Darfur brought together political leaders, major celebrities, faith and human rights leaders, Sudanese Diaspora and 50,000 Americans to demonstrate there was a politically salient constituency of conscience that cares about civilians under attack.
- The Coalition recognized that U.S. action alone would not be sufficient, so later that year coordinated the first Global Days for Darfur campaign where events across the United States and in more than 50 countries garnered unprecedented international media attention and helped focus world leaders on the need to send peacekeepers to Darfur and take other actions to stop the genocide.
- Save Darfur Coalition and GI-NET – led by the work of its Sudan Divestment Task Force –celebrated a joint legislative victory when President Bush signed into law the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act. Since the law’s enactment, nine companies – including La Mancha resources, CHC Helicopter, ABB, Siemens, Rolls Royce, ICSA of India, Weatherford International, Weir Group, and Schlumberger – have ceased operations in Sudan or significantly changed their behavior in the country.
- Save Darfur and GI-NET continued to work together, mobilizing their grassroots to push for: deployment of a full-time envoy with a team in the region to coordinate the Darfur peace process and ensure the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; support for the deployment of the UNAMID peacekeeping force; and introduction of a sanctions resolution at the U.N. Security Council to address the blatant obstructionism and intransigence of the government of Sudan.
- The organizations’ advocacy successes were bolstered by their innovative campaign tools and tactics. Genocide Intervention Network launched 1-800-GENOCIDE, which has directed tens of thousands of callers to lobby their elected officials on important Darfur and Sudan-related initiatives. The Save Darfur Coalition built a network of support for local awareness-raising and advocacy events across the United States and internationally, and built and leveraged a netroots base of more than 1 million activists who receive regular email updates and opportunities to take action.
- On May 28, in a historic display of solidarity, presidential candidates John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton issued a joint statement demanding an end to the violence in Darfur and pledging to pursue this goal with unstinting resolve once elected. Save Darfur created the “Be a Voice for Darfur” postcard to ensure that the new U.S. president would keep this promise and take a leadership role in bringing peace to the people of Darfur and all Sudan.
- Partnering with grassroots organizations, student groups, and celebrities, the Coalition collected more than 370,000 postcard signatures, which were delivered to President Obama in the first part of 2009. These signatures played a critical role in pushing for, and securing, the appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan in the first two months of President Obama’s term despite other pressing international priorities.
- Save Darfur organized the first annual Genocide Prevention Month. Throughout April, activists in communities across America came together to honor victims and survivors of past genocides and raise their voices to keep pressure on the Obama Administration regarding the need for peace, protection and accountability in Sudan. Activists coordinated 220 events in 42 states; 118 Congregations of Conscience incorporated Darfur into faith services and events; 40 bookstores in 20 states featured the Genocide Prevention book list.
- GI-NET launched the Conflict Risk Network (CRN), building on the past success of the Sudan Divestment Task Force. CRN provides research, education and assistance to institutional investors who adjust investment practices in Sudan, as well as other areas of concern to avoid indirect support of genocide or mass atrocities.
- STAND joined with Enough’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign to bring the Conflict Free Campus Initiative to dozens of college and university campuses nationwide. By encouraging university officials and stakeholders– to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in Congo’s minerals sector, students are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from Congo.
- In July, our merged organizations became United to End Genocide, under the leadership of Tom Andrews, president.