This fall, Layla will become the 2009-2010 Student Director for STAND, the student-led advocacy organization dedicated to ending genocide. Layla’s path to this vocation began a few years back when she first began learning about the Holocaust. Each story was more shocking than the one before, but the unbelievable aspect of it all for Layla was the realization that the Holocaust did not stand alone in history, and in fact, genocide was taking place at that very moment in Darfur, Sudan.
Believing firmly that “the first step to action is education,” Layla sought out a research assistantship on human rights as she began her undergraduate education at Harvard University. Research served as an important foundation for Layla’s involvement in the genocide prevention movement; her knowledge inspired and directed her plan to take action. She began working with STAND as an intern and has continued to work with the organization for the past two years, organizing numerous events and projects. STAND coordinates 1,000 high school and college chapters nationally and internationally of students dedicated to preventing and stopping genocide.
Layla is very committed to STAND’s approach to activism and grateful for what it has meant for her personally. “I appreciate how the student movement has pursued effective and educated actions that seek to build relationships between students and elected officials,” she explains. “Being a STAND student has not only taught me how to be a better activist, but also taught me how to be an active citizen.”
To learn more, visit STAND (external link).