Earlier this week, Laurie Drake, Stand’s University Chapter Director, wrote a very profound piece on the difference between “leadership” and “management,” and related it to why Stand has continued to exist for as long as it has. Laurie pointed out that Stand exists because it is a leader in its own field which seeks to define the future for itself, proactively thinking ahead how to combat genocide instead of being bogged down by the organizational difficulties of managing an extensive network of individuals. Although Stand defies the organizational and structural norms of most NGOs, the organization moves ahead and continues to be successful.
Reading this entry, I realized that many people are surprised by our continued success, and do not know what kind of accomplishments we have had over the years. Thus, in this entry, I would like to highlight some of the impact we have had as an organization and in closing, I will attempt to provide an analysis of why we continue to be successful.
Stand is the largest advocacy organization on genocide prevention with respect to Darfur in the country. This statement should not be taken lightly. We are present on almost every major university in the country and in dozens of high schools from coast to coast. We hold rallies, movie openings, fundraising events, advocacy campaigns, conferences, and collaborate with multiple organizations. And this is just the national chapter. Imagine all these activities multiplied by every single chapter across the country. Our impact is far reaching.
On Parliament Hill, we have met with over 50 Members of Parliament and Senators. In the process, we have established a very strong reputation for our organization. The Liberal party has supported our recommendation of creating a Special Envoy for the crisis in Sudan and the Conservative party even invited one of our directors to give a presentation on targeted divestment to a Standing Committee on Parliament Hill. We have made some key political allies and continue to lobby government representatives.
Most recently, we won the Youth Social Entrepreneur Award at the Corporate and Community Social Responsibility conference. I was fortunate to receive this award on behalf of Stand in Ottawa and was quite surprised how many people at the reception ceremony were happy for us. The reason we were even nominated for the award is because an individual from an organization that we have worked with in the past put our name forward, to our great astonishment.
This just goes to show that people have heard of our organization and the work we do, which we may not be aware of. Whether it be on a university campus, in the media or on Parliament Hill we can take pride that we have made an impact on society and our message resonates with people from all walks of life.
As Laurie indicated in her post, the reason we are successful and continue to be successful is because we are leaders. We have a vision and we want to see it through. Preventing and addressing mass atrocities is no easy task but the people who make up our organization believe not only that it has to be done, but that it can be done. Our success lays with the individuals who share this belief and which continue to work towards this goal. Our organization does not run on dollars or vast resources, but primarily on the passion of people who share this belief. This is the true reason why we continue to grow and why we will continue to move forward.
by Luke Kujawa, Policy Director of Stand Canada