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US Northwestern University holds Darfur activist conference

STAND

For immediate release: Contact: Scott Warren, Communications Director

908-279-3287, [email protected]

Hundreds of Students from the Great Lakes Region Convene for Speakers, Workshops

Evanston, Illinois, November 10, 2006 — More than 200 students from the Great Lakes Region of the country will convene at Northwestern University for the first of six nation-wide anti-genocide conferences. College and high school students from schools throughout Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and other nearby states will participate in workshops, learn from speakers, and plan future campaigns. Students will hone skills that will allow them to effectively organize their campuses and communities to take action to end the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Students will have the opportunity to hear numerous experts speak about the current situation and the actions students can take to protect civilians in Darfur. Confirmed speakers include Ronan Farrow, a UNICEF Spokesperson for Youth . Farrow has traveled to the region and written numerous columns on the subject in national publications. Ryan Spencer Reed, a war photographer who has visited Darfur on numerous occasions, will show his work and speak about his experiences. Other representatives from NGOs and advocacy organizations will also present at the conference.

Students will participate in workshops focusing on the steps students can take to pressure their elected officials to take concrete action to end genocide. They will also learn how to effectively engage the local media to cover their events. The Sudan Divestment Task Force, architects of the most successful divestment campaign since the movement against apartheid in South Africa, will also lead a workshop. The state of Illinois has already divested from Sudan, and bordering states like Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa will be introducing divestment-specific legislation in January.

“This conference presents a perfect opportunity for students to learn how to effectively take action to end the genocide in Darfur,” said Janessa Goldbeck, a Northwestern senior and the Great Lakes STAND Outreach Coordinator. “We hope that this will lead to a permanent anti-genocide constituency in the Great Lakes region, a constituency prepared to take action against any future genocides that may occur.”

The conference will take place from Saturday, November 11, to Sunday, November 12. All speakers and participants will be available for interviews.

STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition (www.StandNow.org), is comprised of over 600 high school and college chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Its new “Time to Protect” campaign will urge elected officials to take concrete steps to end the genocide. The campaign will also fundraise for a civilian protection force in Darfur. More information is available at www.TimeToProtect.org. From November to January, STAND will sponsor other anti-genocide conferences at schools in Denver, Berkeley, Swarthmore, Providence, and Atlanta.

The Northwestern University Darfur Action Committee (NUDAC) is a local STAND chapter. NUDAC has planned numerous successful events over the last year, including two large rallies in Chicago.

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Scott Warren
STAND, A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition
Media Director
Brown University ’09 –
cell: (908) 279-3287,
[email protected]
www.standnow.org