Philosophy of SFT 

"Why would you want to become involved with Tibet? You may be sitting there at your computer screen, wondering if getting involved with this will make any difference. That's not a bad question, and it is one we ask ourselves constantly. When I ask myself this question, I must admit that I don't know if the time and energy I put into SFT will make a difference for Tibetans. However, I know it makes a difference for myself and those whom I come into contact through SFT. It gives me a sense of hope and the realization that at least I have tried. In a sense, we're in the dark about the effects of our actions, but at a minimum, it is a lot harder to murder people with the world watching. It is interesting. In the history of the US, there have been only three times that masses of Americans have risen up to speak out for people of other lands; Vietnam in the 70's, South Africa in the 80's and now Tibet in the 90's. If history teaches us anything it is that change for Tibet is within reach. I don't know for sure if my contributions will ever help Tibet. But I do know that the stakes are too high not to try. If, as I believe we can, we truly do change our world, then I know that I will have played a part in that." 

-Noah Raford, Brown University SFT 

Student's for a Free Tibet's mission is to educate young people to the realities of Tibet and translate awareness into action through non-violent political, economic and social campaigns. SFT works with a coalition of peace and social justice, interfaith and human rights organizations to accomplish its goals and foster dialogue and understanding within our global community. 

History of SFT

Formed in August of 1994 as a project of the U.S. Tibet Committee and the International Campaign for Tibet. 

1994 - 1995 

  • SFT grows to 75 universities across the country 
  • SFT arranges student meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama 
  • SFT holds 1st annual SFT National Conference at Oberlin College 
  • SFT launces economic Action Committee aimed at examining business practices of corporations on the U.S. China Business Council 
1995 - 1996 
  • SFT begins boycott of Holiday Inn and its parent company Bass PLC. Because of the Holiday InnÕs negative impact in Tibet. 
  • SFT launches divestment campaign aimed at lobbying corporations on the U.S. China Business Council, political campaign to revoke ChinaÕs Most Favored Nation trading status and urgent action campaigns to secure the release of Fulbright scholar Ngawang Choephel, the worldÕs youngest political prisoner, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, and other prisoners of conscience. 
  • SFT participates in Tibetan Freedom Concert, HORDE, and Lallapalooza in order to increase awareness among young people and mobilize the student movement for Tibet. 
  • SFT hold 2nd annual SFT National Conference at Brown University. 
  • SFT joins the Milarepa Fund and the Campaign for Tibet in a month- long Tibetan Freedom Tour aimed at promoting awareness and activist training to high schools and colleges in the U.S. 
  • SFT participates in, coordinates, and sponsors marches, demonstrations, and boycotts throughout the country. 
  • SFT grows to over 200 chapters in North America, and expands overseas to Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand. 
1996 - 1997 
  • Holiday Inn pulls out of Tibet as a direct result of the boycott run by SFT, the Milarepa Fund as well as International Tibet Support Groups. 
  • SFT coordinates demonstrations across the country coinciding with the visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin 
  • SFT holds 3rd annual National Conference held at the University of Wisconsin 
  • SFT grows to over 350 chapters throughout the world, including over 100 high school chapters and 200 college and university chapters. 
  • SFT participates in grassroots education around the movie releases of 7 Years for Tibet and Kundun 
Future - SFT is becoming an independent organization in the spring of 1998 
Learn More...
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