Activists “Pledge 2 Protect” in Washington DC

Originally posted on Blog for Darfur.

This weekend the Save Darfur Coalition joined the Pledge2Protect conference here in Washington, DC.  Hosted by STAND: The Sudent Anti-Genocide Coalition, Save Darfur and the Enough Project, the conference sought to create an experience for participants that will empower them to become stronger leaders on their campuses and in their communities while demonstrating the strength of the movement to end genocide to policymakers on Capitol Hill.

Save Darfur hosted the Sudan Plenary, which featured NSC Senior Director for African Affairs Michelle Gavin, author Bec Hamilton, physician and professor at al-Fasher University and former Director at Amel Center for torture victims in Darfur Dr. Mohammed Abdallah, Representative Mike Capuano (MA-08) and Save Darfur Coalition President Jerry Fowler.

During the plenary, Representative McGovern told the conference attendees,  “Everyone in this hall is essential to peace… To ending genocide. You are the engine, the energy” and instructed them: “you need to make sure your representative knows this matters to you!”

Michelle Gavin said she was “energized by this gathering” and told the audience:  “you have one of the most important roles in this important time period we’re in now” for Sudan.  Gavin also noted that “history shows us when activists come together on key issues we become closer to the America we want to be” and asked that activists “help [the government] keep focused on the fact that what needs to change is the situation on the ground in Sudan.”

In addition, the coalition hosted the following panels:

Building Effective Sticks & Carrots for Sudan
Free & Fair? Or Fraud & Failure? The Election & Referendum in Sudan
Protecting Civilians in Sudan
Imagination as an Advocacy Tool: Bringing the Arts into the Picture
Sudanese Voices on Lasting Peace & Stability in Sudan: Challenges & the Way Forward
Peacemaking in Sudan
Wars against Women & the Pursuit of Peace: the Case of Darfur
The International Advocacy Movement on Sudan: A Conversation with Global Advocacy Leaders
Sudanese Voices on Lasting Peace & Stability in Sudan: Challenges & the Way Forward

And coalition staff helped equip activists with the tools they need on the following panels:

Congress 201: Building Political Will
Moved by Faith: Activism, Advocacy, & Genocide Prevention (featuring yours truly)
Media 101: Marketing Your Cause (featuring yours truly)
Fundraising 101: Effective Fundraising from $5 to $50,000
From the Experts: Running a Community Coalition

You can see more of the conference by checking out the twitter stream and our photos.

About Martha Heinemann Bixby

Advocacy. Politics. Life. Martha Heinemann Bixby.
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