From Margin to Center: Announcing the 2013 National SJP Conference at Stanford University

Dear Students, Allies, and Friends,

We are excited and proud to announce that the 2013 National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference will take place on the weekend of October 25th at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California.

Hosted by Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights (SPER), this year’s conference will focus on shifting our work from the margins to the center by connecting struggles and forging a national movement. Conference organizers have built on the vision outlined by students at last year’s conference at the University of Michigan, and will focus on building our movement through political and skill development, as well as critical discussions about our work and role in the struggle for Palestinian liberation.

In the coming weeks, we will provide further information about conference logistics and registration. For now, we ask that local SJP chapters, and other Palestine solidarity groups, begin to make plans to attend the conference. We also ask supporters to kindly consider making a donation to support student travel, so that lack of resources does not stop activists across the country from attending the conference and sharing their knowledge and skills.

In addition to the theme described above, this Conference will aim to achieve the following goals:

[1] This conference will create space for a critical discussion on solidarity. By providing an opportunity for students to examine current frame(s) of reference, we hope to generate thoughtful discussions on the relationship between the student movement and Palestinian Shatat* communities.

[2] This conference will offer students the tools to resist oppression within our own groups and organizing spaces, while we continue our struggle against larger systems of oppression. The struggle for Palestinian liberation is deeply intertwined with the fight against patriarchy (sexism, homophobia, cissexism, ableism), racism, and capitalism and we must create mechanisms to help us challenge oppressive behavior internally. The freer we are of internal repressions, the better we are able to resist external ones.

[3] This conference will provide opportunity for further education on issues that affect Palestinians across the world. By deepening our understanding of the demands and needs of Palestinian communities both within the Shatat* and historic Palestine, the student movement can be more informed, and in turn, more accountable in our actions.

[4] This conference will contribute to the national movement, building upon the work of previous years in constructing National Students for Justice in Palestine. Through this process, we will strengthen the student network, making it a living reality.

[5] This conference will highlight concrete political action as a critical element of solidarity, recognizing that visible victories are crucial tools in the effort to both broaden our movement, and link our movement to other struggles.

In solidarity,
The National Students for Justice in Palestine Steering Committee

*Diaspora is a rough but inexact translation of the word Shatat.