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Genocide Awareness Month set to highlight modern atrocities, resilience

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Jewish Community Relations Council and the Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention are sponsoring multiple online conversations in April recognizing Genocide Awareness Month. They are working to bring attention to atrocities happening around the globe but also educating people about how they started and how to work to keep them from happening again.

Remember the Holocaust, is a phrase many of us have heard before. But for Genocide Awareness Month– we’re urged to remember them all. Even events in America, like the attempted eradication of indigenous populations.

“Well genocide seems so far away and so big. It’s really a local issue,” said Aaron Welcher with the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Anti-genocide supporters said Muslim populations in a part of China are being targeted. Also in the Congo and even in Myanmar. The unrest there started in 2017, but with military taking control through a coup back in February the issue is growing.

But Genocide Awareness Month isn’t just about remembering the violence, it’s about stopping it.

“Coming together in solidarity and using our collective voices for action around atrocities that are being committed at that moment,” said Amber Maze with the Crane Center.

This month a series of virtual events are being organized to put a spotlight on genocide. Starting off the spotlighting is David Estrin’s presentation on Yom HaShoah. The event is Thursday at 11 a.m. Anyone interested in registering for the event can do so online.

As the month progresses other speakers and genocide survivors will participate.

“Through this political divide and polarization that we need to remind senators, legislators and elected officials that these are real lives and we know that when we don’t act the worst will happen,” said Welcher.

But it’ll also provide context around how many of these acts often stem from political and ethnic division.

“If we don’t take the time to really analyze the world around us and analyze our own political insecurities we are just as susceptible to mass atrocities,” said Maze.

The organizations say they’ve been working closely with Exodus refugee to connect with survivors who are sharing their stories.