110 student leaders in the anti-atrocity movement joined Enough Project, Jewish World Watch, STAND, and Youth to End Sexual Violence in D.C. from February 21-23, 2015, for The Lemkin Summit: A National Gathering of the Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders. During the three-day Summit, students networked with one another, developed their advocacy and movement-building skills, and engaged with experts on current conflict areas including Burma, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Participants were from 28 States, including D.C., as well as the UK, Canada, India, Rwanda, and South Sudan, with 48 different high schools, colleges, and universities represented.
Despite battling an intense winter storm, students arrived Saturday night for a screening of Watchers of the Sky, as well as two special presentations by community leaders. Sunday’s program included panels on sexual & gender based violence, the financial leverage of combatting atrocities, and conflict-specific overviews; advocacy trainings, communications and storytelling workshops; and an Open Space for students to capitalize on the collective knowledge they brought to the Summit themselves.
Additionally, Sunday’s program included student participation in a Keynote Discussion with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who skyped into the Summit, moderated by John Prendergast.
The final day of the Summit was an advocacy day on Capitol Hill, during which students discussed these ongoing issue areas with various congressional offices, and urged Congress to support the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and additional expert capacity to the Treasury Department to investigate and enforce sanctions on people in the DRC, Sudan, South Sudan, and Central African Republic. Students met with 43 offices in the House, 27 in the Senate, and one at the State Department, with Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region and DRC Russ Feingold.
Read Ohio University junior and STAND Campaigns Coordinator Luke Kubacki's blog from the weekend to hear from the perspective of a student participant.
For a visual representation of the students' experience over the weekend through social media, check out the Storify below or click here.
Thank You to all of our guest speakers and student leaders:
- Mayesha Alam, Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security
- Zana Alattar, Students Organizing for Syria
- Myra Dahgaypaw, U.S. Campaign for Burma
- Joel Davis, Youth to End Sexual Violence
- Omékongo Dibinga, UPstanders International
- Natalia Escruceria, Just Associates
- Nita Evele, Congo Global Action
- Justine Fleischner, Enough Project
- Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
- Naama Haviv, Panzi Foundation, USA
- Greg Hittelman, Enough Project
- Omer Ismail, Enough Project
- Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project
- Megan Loney, United States Institute of Peace
- Ambassador Samantha Power
- John Prendergast, Enough Project
- Kenan Rahmani, Syrian American Council
- Travis Roberts, Enough Project
- Madeline Rose, Mercy Corps
- Dan Sullivan, United to End Genocide
- Dydine Umunyana, The Aegis Trust
- Ambassador Laurence D. Wohlers
- Danielle Allyn, UNC-Chapel Hill
- Evan Anderson, American University alumn
- Francesca Bessey, University of Southern California
- Kaliana Chamberlin, UCLA alumn
- Emily Collinson, American University
- Carly Fabian, American University
- Francesca Freeman, University of Chicago
- Claire Grega, John Carroll University
- Abdullah Hasan, University of Connecticut
- Corey Jones, Barry University
- Heather Klain, Northern Illinois University
- Luke Kubacki, Ohio University
- Garrett Moore, Boston University
- Stacie Schwartz, Loyola Marymount
- Julia Zukin, Emory University