Posted: October 30, 2022
Written by: Genocide Survivors Foundation
Genocide Survivors Foundation’s founder and president, Jacqueline Murekatete, was invited by the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center to speak to students about the dangers of antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, and all forms of extremism. The program took place at the Moses Brown School and brought together hundreds of students from schools all over Rhode Island.
Ms. Murekatete shared her experiences as a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, trying to help students understand that genocide is not a crime that happens overnight or in a vacuum – it occurs through a process of indoctrination, dehumanization and teaching of hatred toward one particular group. Ms. Murekatete advised the students that the best way to prevent genocide is to fight hate and all forms of extremism. She explained that we need to work toward a world where diversity is not adversity. We need a world where diversity is seen as an asset to any society – and not as a tool to be used by ill-intentioned politicians to turn one group of people against another.
Ms. Murekatete also spoke about the alarming increase of antisemitism and other forms of extremism and hate in U.S. and around the world. She emphasized the need to combat these maladies – and not remain silent about them. She reminded the students that words have the power to hurt or to heal. She clarified that hate speech is not part of free speech. She ended by encouraging and calling on the students to join her and other activists who are working hard to create a culture where no one is discriminated against, persecuted, or murdered simply because of who they are.
Ms. Murekatete’s message was well received by students and teachers alike. One teacher remarked that Ms. Murekatete’s sharing of her genocide experiences, lessons learned, and her overall message “was life-altering for her and for many of her students.” That same teacher thanked Jacqueline and her organization for the work they do to educate young people and mobilize them to fight hate and all forms of extremism.« Back to News + Blog