Sunday, March 30, 2008

IC's STAND and CU's STAR join forces, bring NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to both campuses

Ithaca College’s chapter of STAND, the national student anti-genocide coalition, and Cornell University’s anti-genocide group, STARS, host “Dream for Darfur: A Two-Day Academic Symposium on the World’s Darkest Olympics” on Saturday, April 5, and Monday, April 7, at both educational institutions.

Events on April 5 feature speeches by Adam Sterling, director of the Sudan Divestment Task Force and star of Darfur Now, and Mohamed Yahya, executive director of the Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy. Presentations are held at Ithaca College in Textor Hall 102 at noon; and at Cornell's HEC Auditorium, Goldwin Smith at 2:30 p.m.

The symposium culminates on April 7 with a visit and speech from Nicholas Kristof, an internationally acclaimed New York Times columnist and Darfur activist. Kristof speaks at Cornell in the Anabel Taylor Hall Auditorium at 4:30 p.m. and at Ithaca College in Textor Hall 102 at 6:30 p.m.

The speakers aim to emphasize the constructive role that China can play in ending the ongoing atrocities in Darfur, Sudan. The symposium is tied to a national movement called "The Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay," which has also traveled internationally to countries with a history of genocide and mass atrocities. The movement aims to urge China – which has multiple roles as Sudan’s chief diplomatic sponsor, major weapons provider, and largest foreign investor and trade partner, and as host of the 2008 Summer Olympics – to use its unique position to lead the world in bringing an end to the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

“We’re holding this event today for the Darfuri people hoping that it will cast a needed light on their suffering – suffering that the world cannot ignore,” said Mandy Kessler, STAND co-president. “We implore China to bring the Olympic dream to Darfur. The symposium will shine a light on the role that China can and must play to ensure that the violence and suffering in Darfur come to an end.”

The symposium is funded in part by the SAFC, Cornell University Near Eastern Studies Department, The Bartels Family, Cornell University Peace Studies Program, Cornell University Office of the Vice-Provost, Cornell Hillel, Ithaca College Residence Hall Association, Ithaca College Student Government Association, Ithaca College Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life.

For more information, please contact Rachel Merkin at 617-470-1324 or Mandy Kessler at 617-939-4932.


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