On Monday evening (3 April), I spoke at Northwestern University’s Together We Remember event which commemorates and honors genocide victims as well as discussing ways to make “Never Again!” a reality. My extern, Juliana Iturralde, invited me to speak, and requested that I spend ten minutes reading the names of genocide victims & 20 discussing my work at Burma Task Force U.S.A. and what students can do to help.
I geared my talk toward the history of Burma and how Rohingya Muslims came to be otherized, capitalizing on the esoteric intellectual proclivities of many Northwesterners. When it came time to suggest ways to help, I provided ideas that’d fit into the schedule & some what smaller world of an undergraduate: weekly action alerts, but also checkout events/statements at the Holocaust Museum (only one town away from Evanston campus), Tweet at journalists to cover this more & insist on a panel about Rohingya at next year’s N.U.C.H.R. The video of the speech can be found here.
Due to the heavy rain in the north suburbs on Monday, the audience was not large, & most didn’t stay for the entire talk (we were speaking from a tent in front of NU’s famous Rock). However, many passersby stopped for a few minutes to listen before continuing on their way. People who were around at the end of the talk all asked for my card and indicated they wished to partner further.
#TogetherWeRemember was covered in the Daily Northwestern. That does not sound like much, but the City of Evanston does not have a daily newspaper, so pretty much the entire town reads the Daily Northwestern. It has also won numerous collegiate journalism awards. While neither Burma, the Rohingya, nor I were mentioned in the article I emailed & tweeted at the author thanking her for keeping genocide awareness on her pages.
All in all it was a successful event and I was happy to be back on campus at my alma mater.