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Genocide Awareness Month

Mar 24, 2021 | Blog, Holocaust, Human Rights Policy, International, JRJN, Programs & Events

It may seem strange that the month of April, so often associated with rebirth and renewal, has been designated by the U.S. as “Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.” April was selected because many contemporary genocides began during this month, including Armenia (1915), the Holocaust (1941), Cambodia (1972), Bosnia (1992), Rwanda (1994), and Darfur (2003).

This April, JCRC partnering with local and national organizations to provide an entire month of education and action around current mass atrocity issues. Viewers from across the country can listen to Rohingya activist and survivor Wai Wai Nu speak about the complexities of the crisis in Burma; hear Adele Kibasumba’s testimony of survival in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and feel the pain of loss as Rayhan Asat relays her fear for her brother, who is currently held in a Uyghur detention camp in China.

Of course, Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month is about more than being reminded about the worst in humanity. It is also about illuminating sparks of humanity despite the darkness. Human rights activist and filmmaker J.D. Stier will speak about the resiliency of those who experience conflict and the role a strong community plays in sustainable peacebuilding. By coming together in solidarity and providing a platform for these issues, the community honors the diversity and vibrancy that makes up our global society.

Week 1

Indianapolis Community Yom HaShoah Observance 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021

11:00 AM EST

The Jewish community will come together to honor and remember those who perished in the Shoah. Guest speaker, David Estrin, will remind us of the importance of turning collective memory into collective action. Then we will hear voices of our community’s clergy and youth in a moving observance and candle lighting ceremony.

Upon registration, you will receive an email with the link to view the program, which will become watchable at 11am EST on April 8th.

About the Speaker:
David Estrin is the founder and CEO of Together We Remember, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders to make “never again” a reality. The grandson of four Holocaust survivors, David is on a mission to transform memory into action to end anti-Semitism and bigotry worldwide. Each April, Genocide Awareness Month, he leads a global campaign that unites students, educators, and leaders to counter violent hatred in their schools, communities, and on social media. David has shared his story and work nationwide, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the United Nations.

Week 2

Myanmar and the Rohingya Genocide
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

7:00 PM EST

Since Myanmar’s independence, the Rohingya have been subjected to multiple rounds of genocidal violence and mass displacements, resulting in over 1 million Rohingya refugees fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh. This panel will address the crisis currently facing the Rohingya, as well as how the recent military coup in Myanmar further complicates their situation.

Indianapolis JCRC and Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention will be joined by political prisoner turned activist Wai Wai Nu and Jewish Rohingya Justice Network lead Hannah Weilbacher. Join us to learn more about the ongoing situation and the concrete action steps you can take to support the Rohingya people.

Week 3

Raided by Rebels: The Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

7:00 PM EST

The Democratic Republic of Congo, nestled within the Great Lakes Region of Africa, is home to stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultures, but it has also been touched by decades of violence that has claimed the lives of nearly 6 million people. This panel will examine the root causes of the conflict and the important role civil society plays in developing sustainable peace. Join us to learn more about the ongoing situation and the concrete action steps you can take to support the Congolese people.

Panelists include:
Adele Kibasumba, women’s rights activist and Gatumba massacre survivor
JD Stier, filmmaker & entrepreneur

Ally Ntumba, refugee rights advocate 

Week 4

Prisoners at Home: China and the Uyghur Genocide
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

7:00 PM EST

Since a brutal crackdown in 2016, the ethnic Uyghur minority have become prisoners within their own homeland. Over a million are detained in concentration camps and thousands are forced to work in factories as slave labor. This panel will discuss the history of persecution Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities have faced at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as how the current atrocities amount to genocide. Join us to learn more about the ongoing situation and the concrete action steps you can take to support the Uyghur people.

Panelists include:
Rayhan Asat, Uyghur human rights lawyer

Mustafa Aksu, Uyghur educator & activist
Marcus Steiner, Crane Center CEO .