As the genocide in Darfur wages on, students in Swarthmore Sudan don't stand by - they stand up. Swarthmore Sudan is part of a larger network of students and individuals working to end to the genocide and guarantee civilian protection in the interim. Students meet each week to brainstorm campaigns aimed to educate, advocate and fundraise for Darfur in the greater Swarthmore community.
Since its founding in 2004, Swarthmore's anti-genocide group has been a leader in the student anti-genocide movement. Between organizing large-scale student lobbying trips to Washington, D.C. and raising thousands of dollars for civilian protection in Darfur, Swarthmore students have strongly campaigned for an end to the genocide in the region.
"Our actions are tangible. We know whether or not we've succeeded. I think members of the group feel a sense of urgency, while still having fun while we work."
Erin Heaney '09
New students are always welcome, and the group attracts Swatties from a variety of different majors and backgrounds. Members discuss the most up-to-date news on the situation each week before breaking out into sub-groups like community outreach, fundraising and advocacy.
According to Nick Gaw '09, it is Swarthmore Sudan's clearly defined mission that sets it apart from other activist groups on campus. "Swat Sudan is so much of a targeted group as far as social justice is concerned," he says. "We're consistently working toward a single issue, the end of a genocide and civilian protection, whereas other groups have more broad mission statements they try to uphold. I think that gives us a unique and sharpened focus."
Erin Heaney '09 agrees. "We are not just one isolated group," she says. "We are one group of students among 600 or so across the country that are working toward a unified goal."