STAND Canada’s Successes
STAND has achieved a numerous MP meetings such as with former Prime Minister Paul Martin, and former NDP Leader Jack Layton. STAND has also met with Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Co-operation and La Francophonie, former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, as well as officials within Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development.
Over the years, STAND has also hosted a number of national and regional conferences in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. Speakers have included: Scott Proudfoot, Director of the Government of Canada’s Sudan Task Force; Glen Pearson, long-time Darfur advocate and former Member of Parliament for London North-Centre; and various STAND alumni who have worked on Parliament Hill. STAND’s partnerships with like-minded organizations have included playing a leading role in the Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group, as well as the International Days for Darfur in 2006 and 2007, where thousands attended rallies in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The Youth Leadership Program run by STAND’s University of British Columbia chapter has also received notable attention. It was highlighted project at the 2015 UBC Student Leadership Conference, one of the largest student leadership conferences in Canada.
In January 2008, STAND members Yoni Levitan and Anne Wagner were invited to accompany Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan (CASS) to the South Sudan/Darfur border by Mr. Pearson. Whilst in Sudan, Yoni, Anne and the CASS team were able to interview internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had fled from Darfur to the Rumrol IDP camp. These interviews served as assessments for the International Organization on Migration, and as the driving force for STAND’s activities that year.
In 2007, STAND ran a week-long op-ed series in the National Post’s opinion pages. Authors included Senator Romeo Dallaire, former Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler, as well as STAND’s founders, Ben Fine and Josh Scheinert. In 2009 STAND was invited to premiere the film Darfur (2009) which led to Canadians to join the discussion to end genocide and helped to launch STAND for the Dead campaign. This was followed in 2010 by STAND chapters showing Blood in the Mobile on campuses nation-wide, which raised awareness to the connection between conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the day-to-day lives of Canadians.
In 2008 and 2011 STAND embarked on the election campaign Speak the Name which sought to implement Darfur as an election issue and, as a result, secure promises from elected officials to take action. Speak the Name was a success with the support of over 60 elected Members of Parliament.