Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine | Outstanding Youth Activist Group Award
First awarded in 2016, the Outstanding Youth Activist Group Award recognizes an outstanding youth activist group engaged in Palestine solidarity work in the United States. This award is intended to spotlight and uplift youth and students who are engaged in new, creative, and intersectional activism, often under difficult circumstances and in repressive conditions on US campuses.
Columbia University SJP (CSJP) is a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and community members from Columbia University and Barnard College, organized on democratic principles to promote justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Since spring of 2016, CSJP has been organizing around their boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, in conjunction with the Columbia/Barnard chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. The Apartheid Divest campaign calls on Columbia to divest its stocks, funds, and endowments from eight companies that profit from Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.
Why They Inspire Us
We are inspired by how CSJP centers intersectional and cross-movement work in their organizing for Palestinian rights and against Israeli apartheid. CSJP understands the liberation of Palestine to be inextricably intertwined with the liberation of oppressed groups everywhere, and so they focus on building genuine and deep relationships across struggles.
Big Plans for 2018
In the spring of 2018, CSJP is hosting their annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) at Columbia, a full week of events featuring a diverse array of scholars, activists, and artists speaking on Palestinian liberation. Their plans including constructing a mock apartheid wall on Low Plaza each day of the week to educate and spread information about Palestinian human rights and BDS. IAW culminates with Palestinian Cultural Night, a night of celebration featuring dancers, vendors, speakers, food, and music.