STAND to host Darfur benefit concert Friday night

By Mari Mejia

This evening STAND, a student run anti-genocide coalition, will hold a benefit concert in Kagin from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. There is a $2 donation at the door, and the money will go to fund aid programs for refugees from the genocide in Darfur. Hustle Rose, a local band featuring former Macalester student Joe Moran ’10, will offer a musical mix of neo-soul, rock and funk.The Macalester chapter of STAND is one of over 700 others at schools throughout the world. The chapter was created toward the end of last semester.

“I think it was founded by people who were surprised a similar group did not already exist at Mac seeing as its message fits very well with Macalester’s idea of global citizenship,” said Cecily Castle ’10, a STAND member who helped organize the concert.

Last semester STAND organized “Darfurfast” and raised $300 for the Civilian Protection Program, which protects women from being raped as they leave Internally Displaced Persons camps to collect firewood.

“Students donated money that would have otherwise gone to something such as coffee or candy, and sacrificed that item for the day,” said Miller.

On Wednesday the group also hosted “Voices of Darfur,” which featured two Darfuri refugees speaking about their experiences and a short documentary about the genocide and the stories of other refugees. Both Mohamed Abdelrahman and Ibrahim Adam have family members who either remain in Darfur or are in the refugee camps across the border in Chad, and the two men spoke of friends and family members who had been raped, tortured or killed by the Janjaweed militias, groups of mainly Arab Sudanese who, backed by and in collaboration with the government, attack villages in Darfur with the intention of exterminating the Darfuri people, who are ethnically African.

STAND also plans to coordinate with the Macalester Jewish Organization on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. A survivor of the Holocaust as well as a survivor from a current genocide will be brought to campus to speak about their experiences and how they feel that genocide can be prevented. The event will take place in late April or early May.

Students wishing to join or become involved with STAND can contact either Maggie Yates at [email protected] or Beth Miller at [email protected].

“Even the smallest contributions help. Also, students who don’t know a lot or anything about the situation in Darfur [can join] since part of STAND’s goal is to educate people about the genocide in Darfur. We need people in the group to educate,” Castle said.