Who We Are
STAND Canada advocates to make preventing and ending genocide a cornerstone of Canadian foreign and domestic policy. We are dedicated to providing Canadians with the advocacy and educational tools that they need to take action toward a world without genocide.
Since it was founded in 2005, STAND has become the leading organization in Canada for youth-led anti-genocide activism. Our political action is focused by four themes: the protection of marginalized peoples, government and corporate responsibility, Indigenous rights, and youth activism and leadership.
STAND Canada’s Core Themes
STAND’s work is organized around four core themes, which informs the activities of six teams: Strategic Policy, Advocacy, Communications, Programs & Engagement, Human Resources, and the Board of Trustees.
Protection of Marginalized Groups
Working toward a world without genocide also means fighting back against the ideas that promote the hatred of the other, including dehumanization, xenophobia, hate speech, and harmful political rhetoric targeting specific groups. STAND recognizes our responsibility to oppose this hatred manifested in action as well as words: targeted detention, dispossession, surveillance, legal action against specific groups, and more.
One aspect of combating genocide is supporting and defending to those who are fleeing it. As such, we recognize as within STAND’s mandate measures to protect marginalized groups, especially refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and migrants. We recognize that Canada has a responsibility to assist persons who are denied protection by their own state or any state.
Government and Corporate Responsibility
Genocide does not happen in a vacuum. The Government of Canada, as well as Canadian corporations that operate under the state, are embedded in a complex web of relationships both internationally and domestically. We recognize as within STAND’s mandate actions against Canada’s implicit or explicit support of genocidal regimes or actions, including trade agreements, sale of arms and weapons, and dispossession of land, as well as corporate use of forced labour. We also see the Government of Canada’s responsibility to leverage diplomatic means to prevent and end genocide when possible.
STAND recognizes the historic and continuing links between genocide and colonialism; this is especially important in the context of the genocide of Indigenous peoples on this land. With the understanding that genocide has no clear beginning nor end, and that its effects are widespread and its methods numerous, we include as within STAND’s mandate initiatives to support Indigenous rights, facilitate protections for Indigenous peoples, and call for actions from the Government of Canada that demonstrate accountability and responsibility for past and current actions.
Youth Action and Leadership
STAND Canada recognizes youth as a driving force for positive change. We are committed to youth-led advocacy work within our organization and in political activism more broadly. We work to provide resources and support targeted toward youth of all ages.
During the peak of genocide in Darfur, a group of concerned students at Western University joined together to raise awareness and advocate for action in Darfur. Shortly thereafter, STAND (originally Students Taking Action Now: Darfur) was founded when Dr. Alcol Dor, a South Sudanese refugee, gave a stirring speech on Darfur to a national student leadership conference organized by the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students.
These student leaders realized that while there were many NGOs doing important work on the ground in Darfur, there was no one mobilizing Canadians to create the political will necessary to make acting against genocide a foreign policy priority. After the conference, STAND launched its first campaign, “10 000 Voices”. A petition containing 12 000 signatures was presented at a press conference on Parliament Hill, which led to STAND members meeting then-Prime Minister Paul Martin.
In the summer of 2008, STAND’s managing committee made a strategic decision – STAND moved from being a student-based Darfur advocacy group to a youth focused anti-genocide organization fighting towards the goal of a world without genocide.
Since its founding in 2005, STAND has become the leading organization in Canada for youth-led anti-genocide advocacy, with a diverse membership base and chapters from coast-to-coast. STAND has been featured in The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Sun, and various other publications. STAND members have been featured on CTV News, Global News, MTV Canada, MuchMusic, CBC Radio and numerous other radio and television news programs.
STAND’s ability to successfully operate is entirely due to the commitment and devotion of its exceptional volunteers and donors.
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