An evening of local music, food and entertainment to increase genocide awareness is coming up this Thursday, Sept. 24, at Desert Vista High School.

The Desert Vista chapter of STAND, a student led anti-genocide club, is hosting a special benefit concert in the courtyard of the high school at 6 p.m. Members of the club hope to bring attention to the atrocities of genocide and raise money to stop and prevent further genocides.

STAND, an acronym for Students Take Action Now: Darfur, is an organization dedicated to inspiring students and communities with ways to combat genocide. A division of the Genocide Intervention Network, STAND focuses its efforts not only on Darfur, but also on any country or people suffering from racial violence.

Sonia Sen, a senior at Desert Vista and the 2009-2010 president of STAND, said students are excited for this event because of the opportunity it provides to speak out against current conflicts and to showcase their musical talent.

The evening will consist of acoustic and rock performances from eight local high school bands and artists such as AJ Smith, the Foolish Virgins and Grey Squid.

“This is a good bunch of talented kids performing… It’s a really great opportunity for student musicians,” Sen said.

Even with the stresses and commitments that come with being in high school, students still take time out if their busy schedules to support something they truly believe in.

“We are really in to helping this cause and having a good time doing it,” said Foolish Virgin’s bassist Dana Bennewitz, a junior at Desert Vista.

The school held a similar concert last year with great success; they raised over $6,000 for the cause.

Admission is $5. All proceeds go to STAND and people being affected by human rights violations everywhere. Free refreshments from Paradise Bakery and Dunkin Doughnuts will be provided.

There are more than 40 Desert Vista students in STAND. This is their first major fundraising event of the school year.


Leslie D’Ambrosio is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.