A Day of Remembrance

A Day of Remembrance photo

High School East and High School West spent April 11 educating its sophomore classes on events of the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide. As part of its social studies curriculum, the schools have held a Holocaust Remembrance and Genocide Awareness Day for the past 18 years.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. During the full-day event, the 10th graders listened to a lecture by Rwandan genocide survivor and former Parliament speaker Joseph Sebarenzi. A second guest lecture included  a testimony from Holocaust survivor Werner Reich. The lectures help students connect on a more personal level and understand the importance of empathy and forgiveness despite these tragedies.

“Werner Reich and Joseph Sebarenzi’s presentations were both very inspirational and gave you a feeling to be a better person and try to keep peace for the future,” said Ashley Lockwood, High School West student. “Also, to try and forgive others to stay healthy and get rid of anger and bitterness.”

During breakout sessions, students worked in smaller groups for different activities. They spent two periods learning the background of what happened in Cambodia and Rwanda through a presentation and film clips and created an awareness poster.