Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a student-run organization active on over sixty college campuses throughout the United States, will be hosting its first ever national conference in the fall of 2011 and it needs your support.
Just months ago, student leaders involved in their respective SJPs felt the need to establish a united front that would increasing the effectiveness of advocacy campaigns on various college campuses while also promoting SJPs mission. With virtually no resources except for their dedication, ambition, and experience, these few student leaders formed an ad hoc committee that organized the first ever SJP conference to be held at Columbia University in New York from October 14 to 16.
Hailing the slogan “Students confronting apartheid”, the conference will bring together students from all backgrounds to better establish and refine the existing network of SJP groups across the nation and to improve student-level grassroots advocacy for Palestinian rights, particularly the ones that are blatantly violated in the face of Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. The main objectives of the conference involve movement building, campaign building, political development, and skill development, and these four key areas of improvement will undoubtedly boost the effectiveness of SJP as a model student organization and its members as future leaders.
But again, these students are working with severely limited resources. Although the conference is geared towards students, there is a substantial capacity of involvement for anyone interested. Broad workshops offer the necessary skills for even the most basic of awareness campaigns. Intensive workshops hosted by leading figures and human rights organizations provide attendees with fresh campaigning ideas. Keynote speeches will inspire the youth generation to effectively promote humanitarian causes. But without community support, these endeavors will be difficult — maybe even impossible — to set forth.
The conference is almost here and things are coming together. The ad hoc committee completed the planning phase of the conference. Fellow student activists and SJP members publicized the call and offered their own unique services. Now it’s your turn.
Register for the conference. Even if you are not an active SJP member, there is much to learn about the political and historical contexts of greater Palestine, the apartheid systems currently employed by Israel, and the opportunities students must make for themselves to address the issue of Palestinian rights. If your campus does not feature its own SJP, this conference will help you get one started. And even if you no longer attend college, the networking will aid you and hundreds of other young activists in your future campaigns.(Register here.)
Donate to the conference. Students are already tight-budgeted. Conferences like these seek to offer the most value, but without your aid and investment, the hosting students will find themselves hardpressed to offer all that they intend to. Your donations will help sow the seeds for future generations of activism for the Palestinian cause, especially on college campuses. (Donate here.)
Publicize the conference. SJP organizers appreciate the attention you have already given the conference. Now the word must be spread to those who have yet to learn about this excellent opportunity for networking and skill-building. Invite your friends, suggest the conference to students, promote it on your personal webpage, and help increase its popularity. Having others express interest in the conference is one of the many ways your help can bring success to this conference and to its students. (Visit the event page here.)
College campuses feature the most curious and promising atmospheres. Join SJP as it raises awareness among student bodies, works against the normalization of human rights violations, and shifts discourse towards the more important aspects of the campaign for Palestinian self-sovereignty.
Questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns? Contact the Ad Hoc National SJP Conference Planning Committee here.