With charming ease, three young activists 'be the change'

Hello Standers!

I want to share a story with you posted by The Globe and Mail (below) about three extraordinary high school students that are making a world of difference for our cause, and making it easy to act against genocide.

A few months ago, Hannah Clifford, Daisy King, and Sarah Byres, three students from Northern Secondary School in Toronto, contacted me about a planning a benefit concert to raise awareness for the victims of the genocide in Darfur; a cause that we all have tirelessly championed.

I was struck immediately by their passion, enthousiasm, and dedication to making a difference for the people of Darfur - to being 'the change' they wished to see in the world.

This passion to 'be the change' drove the three girls to accomplish some extraordinary things in planning this event. The girls, mostly themselves, but with a little help from supportive parents, managed to receive sponsorships, book a live venue, build an event website, and most impressively, attract The City's 'Tamarama' and some local T.O. rock bands to perform at the concert. Like the Globe and Mail Article says, "As though organizing a benefit concert ain't no thing."

I can truly say that working with Hannah, Daisy, and Sara has been an incredible privilege and an inspiration. At every turn, through every bump in the road, the three girls have exemplified young leadership, determination, and kindness, and have made one thing very clear: You can make a difference at any age.

And so, I urge all of you that can, especially those in the GTA, to turn out to the Berkely Church and Event Centre (315 Queen St. E) this Tuesday, June 2nd at 6:30 PM, for what promises to be an incredible event organized by three extraodinary young activists.

Tickets are $25 at the door, but can also be purchased online at http://web.me.com/darfur/DARFUR/Home.html, or through the Stand website for $20.

Consider this event one of the easiest (and fun) ways you can act against genocide!

The Dreamer
Evan Cinq-Mars

Globe and Mail Article
"With charming ease, three young activists 'be the change'
May 30, 2009

Last week, three teenage girls from Northern Secondary School ended up channelling Gandhi. They were trying to come up with a name for their upcoming benefit concert and finally settled on the name “Darfur: Be the Change” – an unwitting reference to the maxim “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“It was a nice coincidence,” said Daisy Kling, Hannah Clifford and Sara Byres in a collective e-mail. “His meaning behind the quote is so in sync with what the three of us are trying to accomplish.”

This trio of 11th graders are hoping that their musical fundraiser will raise awareness – and money – for the victims of the genocide in Darfur. On June 2 at the Berkeley Church, local bands The Cheap Kicks and Birds of Whales will appear along with guest speaker Debbie Bodkin, formerly of the United Nations in Darfur. Most notably, perhaps, the tenacious teens secured Tamarama, a folk-rock duo from Australia, famed for their recent appearance on MTV's The City .

“We contacted them through MySpace and then were directed to their booking agent,” said the girls, as though they've been booking famous headliners for years.

They're part of a generation that approaches activism with a charming ease. They came of age with Craig Kielberger, the now famous activist from Thornhill who founded Free The Children at the age of 12. Like Daisy, Hannah and Sara, he read something that didn't sit well with him and responded with action, perhaps a novel concept to older (or lazier) individuals.

Consider the 100 students camping out all night at Queen's Park (in the rain) last month, raising awareness for child soldiers. Or the week-long conference for young activists earlier this month, organized by Toronto's Youth Action Network.

Daisy, Hannah and Sara name Mr. Kielberger as an inspiration, but are quick to point out the real source of their motivation: the people in Darfur whom they are aiming to help. “Learning about the cause and knowing something must be done makes us determined.”

In addition to a night of great tunes, consider your $25 ticket ($20 in cash) an investment in two worthwhile causes: the aid effort in Darfur, and the gutsy activism of the next generation. “You can make a difference at any age,” they write.

As though organizing a benefit concert ain't no thing.

Proceeds will benefit the Canadian Red Cross, and STAND, a youth-based initiative promoting advocacy and activism. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the website at www.darfurbenefitconcert.com. Special to The Globe and Mail

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