Darfur benefit concert to raise awareness, funds

By By Michael McFall and By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

As the riffs of Redfest die down and students’ hearing slowly comes back, another concert will hit the Union tonight — but this time it has a charitable cause.

The U chapter of Students Take Action Now: Darfur refuses to let genocide on the other side of the world be ignored. Tonight from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Union Ballroom, the group will host Rock Darfur, a concert to raise funds and student awareness about the situation in Darfur.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t even know where Darfur is or what genocide is,” said Vanessa Johnson, STAND vice president.

Rock Darfur aims to change that.

A $3 minimum donation will be collected as an entry fee to the concert, with all proceeds going to the United Nations Children’s Fund. Seven bands ranging from indie to jazz will perform at the event, including Ben Shepherd, Palace of Buddies, Salt Lake City Greasers and Nolen Volens.

“We think students have a desire to help,” said Tiffany Riddle, group president.

Riddle said she wants to show students that they don’t have to do huge acts to make a difference in the world and that even $3 can mean something.

Riddle and Johnson expect a solid turnout, considering the group’s previous endeavor, a free screening of “Darfur Diaries: Message from Home,” went well.

“We hope people come out, even if it’s just to grab a brownie and support the effort to save the people of Darfur,” Johnson said.

Other organizations, such as Salt Lake Saves Darfur, will be present at the concert to help raise student awareness about the genocide in Darfur, which began when the government of Sudan started to sponsor attacks against the people in the Darfur region of the country. The genocide has taken more than 400,000 lives and displaced more than 2,500,000 people, according to the national student group’s website. Doctors for Humanity, a non-government group that works to inspire youth to better their society, will also be present.

Rock Darfur will have free food, stickers and wristbands for attendees.

[email protected]