Chapter Digest – March 2010


The Chapter Digest is finally back!  After a few months hiatus, we are pleased to announce that information about your local chapters is now available.  The Chapter Digest is intended to provide chapters with new ideas for awareness and fundraising events as well as a forum in which all STAND members can exchange ideas and best practices.  Enjoy!

Profile of A Successful Event: Q & A with Guelph chapter leader Lindsay Broadfield

STAND: What were some of the highlights of your film screening?

Lindsay Broadfield: It was a great turnout – We sold 84 tickets through our chapter members and at the door, 23 tickets were sold or reserved online. I don’t think that many people came, but I would estimate 70 to 80 people showed up overall .

We had two guest speakers for Q & A discussion after the film, and they were both amazing. Debbie Bodkin and Noah Danby came to do the Q/A discussion with me after the movie. (Noah played the security guard, Theo, in the film.) Debbie talked about how what we just watched was exactly what she had heard in Chad and Darfur, while she was interviewing refugees and observing what was happening.

Noah was great, because he was honest, sincere, and blunt. He mentioned during the discussion, that in his mind, the true stars of the movie were the refugees and the Darfuris that were actually in the movie (they filmed it in South Africa, partially with actors, but also with actual Darfur refugees who were living in South Africa). This was such a touching moment. He was so passionate about it, and was even openly teary eyed at one point while speaking – as you know from the movie, he is built like a lumberjack, but is really such a sweet man. He spoke about how he started getting involved and learned about the conflict before filming, and how it was for him to film this, and hear the stories as they were filming the movie.

S: What were some of the challenges during the event?

LB: We had some troubles starting on time, we were running about 10 minutes late starting the movie, but that was fine. There was some worry that people would leave after the film – but they came back for the Q & A session. At one point, Noah spoke bluntly about the cause for the entire conflict – which was (in his opinion) money. As moderator, I added to his comment by sharing some more of the history behind it – ethnical tension, oil, drought – to highlight the complexities.

S: How did you use this event to encourage people to take action for Darfur?

LB: During the Q & A session, we took the time to answer the question: What does Stand do, and what will it do with the money that we make with this film tour and campaign? We encouraged the audience to join the Stand for the Dead campaign (www.standforthedead.com) and call 1-800-Genocide. Many of the audience members signed up for our mailing lists after the film. It was great to mingle with the audience, confirm their thoughts and feelings (about the horrors in Darfur), and direct them to ways they can take action through Stand.

Darfur Film Tour Hits Burnaby

When Stand UBC began furiously promoting Burnaby, B.C.’s ‘Darfur’ premier, I didn’t stop to think about what watching the film would feel like. Out at UBC, we had a bit of a struggle promoting the screening as it was being held about an hour away. Despite that, Aneil Jaswal, Adi Burton, and Nadine Qureshi led our group in an incredible promotions effort and when we saw the theatre start to fill up, relief washed over all of us. Then, the film started and I began to get anxious. The hand-held camera with shots of arid landscapes, the remote community, vibrant clothes, expressive faces – It all seemed real and familiar. In the several years that I’ve been involved with Stand, these shots are what I’ve pictured in my mind when I think of Western Sudan. I got increasingly apprehensive as the suspense built up, until, when a young boy was grabbed and shot point-blank in the face, my emotions became uncontrollable. I had to leave the theatre. This gore was not superficial for me, it was representative of the horror that I, along with the rest of Stand, have been vehemently fighting against. It is important to remember why we’re doing this, but to imprint blood and anguish filled scenes of genocide into our minds – fake or not – is not useful for most of us. Don’t get me wrong, the film has a purpose – It was incredibly effective at capturing the attention of audience members who were not fully aware of the Darfur atrocities.

A film like ‘Darfur’ is a powerful snare for our cause, drawing people in like no documentary can. Our Stand chapters are extremely lucky to have such a powerful tool at their disposal. At our Stand chapter, we’re currently gearing up to host the film at UBC. We’re much more confident in our on-campus outreach skills and are sure we’ll fill the theatre. While I probably won’t be able to watch the film this time around either, I’m excited at the prospect of it helping us ignite or reignite student outrage at the massive Darfuri human rights violations. For that, the film is ideal.

The Impact Chain: A New Way to Event Plan!

Essentially impact is the ultimate goal and change we aspire to, and which is a reaction of various outcomes that derive from the results of our activities . The input is the work that goes into the creation of activities, such as resources expended and hours of the day taken up for planning and setup. Activities refers to events that are held, such as action booths or guest-speakers (Debbie Bodkin!), which thus fuel output which are the immediate results (word of mouth, letters to the MP, etc). Output is different than outcome, as it is does not yet directly manifest the greater impact, which should constitute a change in societal values and processes.
This model can function in a variety of ways and can apply to many causes. Essentially, one can map out an initiative for impact by working backwards through the model by determining the end result, and then creating an analysis through the other stages.

Guelph’s STAND chapter has thus developed what we believe to be our 4 main objectives for impact.

Canada to be a leader for advocacy and conflict resolution in Sudan and globally.

This involves lobbying the government and local MPs through letter-writing and initiative such as 1-800-Genocide. It acknowledges that Canada maintains a responsibility in being a global leader and supporting positive international discourse on issues of genocide and human rights issues.

Canadians to be aware of how their actions affect Sudan and Darfur.

A suggestion that Canadians as citizens in a globalized world need to understand their position as consumers and members of an international collective, and furthermore acknowledge the impact of the individual in a networked system (whether it is inherently obvious or not).

Corporate and social responsibility.

This ties in with the second initiative, although it is geared mainly towards corporations in taking responsibility for the ways in which resource extraction and their general existence in society can fuel or resist conflicts. A specific example is the use of oil in Sudan which has negatively perpetuated the conflict.

Supporting grassroots movements in development of Darfur and Sudan.

Perhaps one of the most important: helping to create sustainable movements of conflict resolution from within countries. Using a bottom-top method to allow for agency and inspiring a grassroots movement run by local communities. In short, a “think globally, act locally” approach to international relations that still acknowledges sovereignty and the unique value of individual nations.

Example: Guelph’s Candlelight Vigil Event Concept

1) Input: candles and candle holders, promotion in classes, giving out free hot chocolate, contact local businesses to advertize/donate, fire department contact, research grassroots organizations in Sudan to possibly give proceeds to

2) Activities: participants carrying candles in remembrance through downtown Guelph, possible slideshow with stories and info, possible guest speaker (Debbie Bodkin?), wrap up event at local café for hot chocolate and discussion/info

3) Output: awareness, promotion of SFTD, Standing for the dead, donation to grassroots organization, remembrance, donations for candles.

4) 4) Outcome: raising awareness of Darfur, Stand, SFTD, helping people learn how to take action, bringing in local businesses and community to be involved

5) Impact: Canada to be a leader in advocacy and conflict resolution in Sudan and globally, corporate and social responsibility, supporting grassroots movements in development of Darfur and Sudan

Upcoming STAND Events

Stand McGill & Stand Concordia present: Stand Jam Night part deux!

JAM NIGHT IS BACK featuring amazing local acts!

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2010 at 9:30pm

The Ghetto Shul 3458 Parc, corner Milton

$5 SUGGESTED donation at the door

This semester’s Jam night coincides with STAND’s NATIONWIDE CANDLE-LIGHT VIGIL. We will be lighting candles at the event and remembering those who have been victims of the genocide in Darfur, while raising money to help advocate for the survivors and help Sudanese women get an education.

ALL PROCEEDS go to Stand and the Valentino Achak Deng foundation

For more information, contact mcgill@standcanada.org

Stand Queens presents: Stand for the Dead, Light for the Living

CALL FOR PERFORMERS

We are looking for performers (such as musicians, writers, poets, actors, artists) to perform at this event. The performances can be anything, but we ask that performers keep in mind that the tone for this event is a serious one.

Contact queens@standcanada.org if you’re interested!

Opportunities for STAND Members

Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada presents re:Vision Conference

In March 2010, YSEC is bringing together the top 100 young changemakers in Ontario to re:Vision change. If you 1) are 17-34 years old 2) have previously demonstrated leadership 3) are committed to making a living while making change, then we are looking for you!

Over two days, you’ll connect with leading experts in social enterprise and learn how to supercharge your initiative, harness innovation for your work, and make your projects sustainable.  Apply here:  http://revision.ysec.org/. Space is limited and registration closes on March 13, 2010.

Aegis: Discover Rwanda Students Programme

This summer, why not join Aegis Students on a travel experience that radically changes your perspective, while positively transforming the lives of others? Discover Rwanda this summer and begin a life-changing journey to experience Rwanda, the “Land of a Thousand Hills”. Click here for more information. (Link: http://www.aegisstudents.org/volunteer/discover-rwanda-2/discover-rwanda/)

Operation Groundswell: Volunteer Travel

Operation Groundswell is a volunteer-travel experience unlike any other.

Our mission is to engage the next generation of leaders by providing off-the-beaten-path travel opportunities to the developing world. Participants learn first-hand by becoming immersed in local communities and cultures through a mixture of group volunteer projects and independent backpacking.

Our trips expose the challenges facing foreign aid, development, travel and volunteering. Employing a consensus-based decision-making approach, our programs foster personal growth because our goal is to facilitate the experience not manufacture it. Click here for more information. (Link: http://www.operationgroundswell.com/).

Mark Your Calendars!! National Vigil for Darfur: March 18th, 2010

Stand Chapters across the country will come together to honour those who have fallen victim to the genocide in Darfur. Join us as we each light a candle in honour of those who have died and take action for those who are still suffering.

Some of the events in the works are a Rally for Darfur in Toronto, a Walk for Darfur in Guelph, and a Jam Night in Montreal. For up to the minute information on what’s happening in your city, follow us on twitter (@standcanada) or check the Stand blog at www.standcanada.org.


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