By Alexandra Moore ’09
On April 9th at 8 pm, Patrick Cook-Deegan of the US Campaign for Burma will give a presentation about Burma and the conflict that engulfs it. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Dalton Auditorium in Converse’s Phifer Science Hall. His visit is sponsored by the Converse chapter of STAND.
“I want my presentation to shed light on the conflict in eastern Burma and the ethnic cleansing in the area. But most importantly, I want students to walk away with an understanding of how they can help work towards the end of conflict in Burma more broadly,” said Cook-Deegan.
Cook-Deegan is a recent graduate of Brown University. He was the youngest ever William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer at the Clinton School of Public Service. He took a cycling trip all over Southeast Asia and his trip was what inspired him to raise awareness about Burma. He has been with Northeast Student Coordinator the US Campaign for Burma. He has raised over $75,000 for the organization in addition to working with high school and university chapters, published articles on Burma, organized demonstrations in support of the non-violent Burmese monks and civilians at different colleges during the political uprising in September.
“I first heard Patrick speak at the STAND National Student Conference in Washington, DC two years ago," said Converse sophomore Lisa Godenick, Co-Chair of the Converse STAND chapter. "He was very inspirational. His passion for Burma really struck me as unique. Also, since he is a recent college graduate, I am hoping that Converse students will be encouraged to take action and realize that young people really CAN make a difference when it comes to protecting people half-way across the globe."
While STAND has mainly focused on the conflict going on in Darfur, they are now working on spreading awareness about ethnic cleansing and military dictatorships in other countries. Burma is the country that is the main focus with the national chapter of STAND in Washington, DC. Other chapters around the country are working to incorporate Burma into their planning and fundraising.