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WHO WE ARE: UNH STAND was founded in the fall of 2007 with the mission to end and prevent genocide whenever and wherever it may occur, with an initial focus on ending the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Soon after our founding, we expanded our focus to include the situations in Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
WHAT WE DO: Our mission begins with awareness and education, but it most certainly does not stop there. While keeping ourselves and the public informed of developments in these conflicts, we aim to provide the tools to use this knowledge wisely by acting on it. Such action includes advocating to elected officials, raising funds for civilian protection, divesting funds from companies complicit with genocide, and reaching out to the campus and community to build a coalition of activists dedicated to the cause.
- EDUCATION: In order to act on an issue, we must be informed and inform others to join us. UNH STAND spreads awareness through hosting educational events, such as movie showings and guest speakers, on a regular basis. We also have a table in the MUB student center every week to educate the campus on our issues and on our current projects. In the spring of 2008, we covered the lawn in front of the dorms with 40,000 flags, each representing 10 deaths in the Darfur genocide, to bring to light the severity of the conflict.
- ADVOCACY: STAND is founded on the idea that with enough political will, generated by constituents pressuring their elected officials, government will take concrete action to put an end to or to prevent conflict. Our efforts in this regard include participation in the Ask the Candidates Campaign, which aims to make ending the genocide in Darfur a political priority for the presidential candidates. Leading up to the New Hampshire primary, UNH STAND activists spoke very nearly with every candidate from both the Republican and Democratic parties on their policies regarding Darfur. We also have hosted letter writing events on specific legislation, and had lobby meetings with our senators' staff on that same legislation.
- FUNDRAISING: While raising money is not the solution to any of the continuing conflicts, funds can provide the resources needed for immediate protection of civilians as the peace processes move forward. The Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net), STAND's parent organization, has a Civilian Protection Program with projects in place in both Darfur and Burma. The project in Darfur aims to prevent attacks and rapes of Darfuri women in refugee and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. In Burma, the program works to establish an early warning radio system to keep civilians safe. Every year an event called STANDFast aims to raise money for this program. UNH STAND has also been selling fair trade coffee, the proceeds of which we donate to an organization called Prospect Burma, which funds education for Burmese refugees.
- DIVESTMENT: One of the fastest growing movements in the country is divestment. The goal is to remove funds from highest offending companies which conduct business with the Sudanese government and provide the revenue that funds the government sponsored genocidal violence. The state of New Hampshire passed divestment legislation on July 11, 2008, becoming the 26th state to do so. UNH STAND is currently working on a campaign to divest the university from such companies. We are working closely with university investment committees to eventually remove our funds from such companies.
- OUTREACH: In the end, our goal is to build a diverse, permanent coalition of activists committed to raising their voices when faced with genocide and mass atrocities. This way, elected officials will know that at any point in time, constituents will be holding them accountable, pressuring them to act to bring an end to the violence. We seek to reach out to the UNH campus, whether other student organizations, academic departments, or others, and also the the UNH community in general. HOW
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