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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Program at SMU to explore Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

I am glad to see the comments from Mr. Kaul, and thank God, we were able to include all human failures and tragedies in our program on January 24th. I invite every one to join to nights program at SMU and learn a different perspective. www.HolocuastandGenocides.com

Program at SMU to explore Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

4:05 PM Thu, Feb 18, 2010
Sam Hodges/Reporter

http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/02/program-at-smu-to-explore-texa.html


The release below gives details on a fast-approaching program at Southern Methodist University:

On Tuesday evening (Feb. 23) at 7 p.m. at SMU's Hughes-Trigg Theater in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center (http://smu.edu/maps/flash/) , the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance (www.dallasholocaustmuseum.org) is hosting a special program exploring the role of the newly-established Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.

The program is free and open to the public, and complimentary valet parking is provided.

The Commission was established during the last session of the Legislature and signed into law last summer. State Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) and State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) co-sponsored the bill creating the commission, which was passed unanimously.

Texas is the nation's 13th state to establish a commission or council devoted to Holocaust and genocide education. By law, the commission--considered the most important development in Holocaust education in Texas in years--is to help preserve information and experiences of the Holocaust and other genocide events. The commission will also work with organizations, agencies, museums, survivors and liberators to provide information and experiences and to coordinate memorial events in the state.

The SMU program will explore the commission's purpose in a Q&A format moderated by Texas Tribune Editor Evan Smith, formerly president and editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly. The panelists include Senator Shapiro; Peter Berkowitz, a Houston business executive who chairs the commission; Amy Fisher-Smith, an associate professor of psychology at University of Dallas, and a Holocaust educator; and Elliott Dlin, Museum Director of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.

Texas is home to several hundred Holocaust survivors, and a few are expected to attend the event, co-sponsored by the Memnosyne Foundation (http://memnosynefoundation.org/) and the SMU Human Rights Program (http://smu.edu/humanrights/)



Comments

I am glad to see our state passed the bill to recognize Holocaust and Genocides. I hope Dallasites will take the time to attend the program and learn and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other.

The Jewish community has borne the suffering of the Holocaust for over sixty years; it is time for us to share it. No community should bear the suffering alone; we all have to stand up, and be there for each other.

Thank God the awareness is increasing; from one event in 2006 by the American Muslims, it has grown to three events this year; the III Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides on 24th, the Gay and Lesbian commeration on 27th and now this event by the Holocaust Museusm in collobration with the Memnosyne Foundation.
Holocaust was a major human tragedy and a failure of humanity.

And perhaps the first time in our history that we acknowledged the genocides of the indigenous Americans and Native peoples of Americas in a public forum along with other tragedies.

I want to applaud the people of Dallas for attending the event. They were Atheists, Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Wicca, Zoroastrians and from sevral ethnicities and nationalities.

It was an educational program, where 7 speakers reflected on 7 topics for 7 minutes each. Then 7 commentators made comments about 7 different situations. The topics ranged from the Holocaust to Genocides, massacres and tragedies.

Among Genocides, Massacres and other tragedies we reflected upon the Indigenous American people such as the Mayans, the Toltecs and the massacres of the Native people right here in Dallas, we touched upon Darfur, Polpot, Congo, Armenia, Rwanda, Falun Dafa, Burma, Tibet, Bosnia, India, Gaza and the transatlantic slave trade. Through these representative events, our goal was to reflect upon every human tragedy. The words do not describe the sufferings of people in full, we have to work with the limited choice of words, but have a big heart to feel the pain and suffering of every human being, not just my people or my tribe, but every one. Let there be one negative energy of suffering that we are part of, together we can work on getting out of it.

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause, and shame on us for justifying massacres that the victims deserved it or they asked for it.

We learned a few simple things that we can do to prevent such tragedies. It was a purposeful event to learn, acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things that we humans have inflicted upon each other. We also learned that our safety hinges on the safety of all others around us.

We learned to see each other with dignity, and honor the otherness of other. Gatherings such as this offer hope and opportunity for a secure and a safer world.

Of the several acknowledgements, a few notable ones are;

1. other peoples suffering is as legitimate as ours;
2. some one related to us through faith, ethnicity, land mass or race has been a butcher too,
3. it takes courage to see ourselves as perpetrators, while it is easy to ourselves as victims;
4. we can see the light at the end of the tunnel when politics is stripped;
5. we can value others suffering without lessening our own;
6. the overriding desire to highlight my own gets softened, when we value others pain;
7. the sense of responsibility for creating a better world was present in us.

It is an initiative of American Muslims striving to build responsible civic societies. The event was organized by the Foundation for Pluralism, where co-existence is our value. We appreciate the sponsorship by the Center for Spiritual Living, all the three are Dallas based Organizations.

And to every community that has endured holocaust, genocides, massacres, bombs, annihilation, land mines, hunger, rape, torture, occupation and inhuman brutality, the least we can do in the process of healing is to acknowledge every one's pain in one room, as one people. We have to teach tolerance and acceptance.

We have begun the process of coming together as one people, to stand with you, we are indeed one world and one humanity, and caring for each other brings safety and peace to all of us. I cannot be safe if the people around me are not, and I will not have peace if people around me don't. It is in my interest to seek a peaceful world for one and all.

A full day conference is planned for Wednesday, January 26, 2011 to discuss every human tragedy, please submit a thoroughly researched 500 word abstract about the event you'd like to discuss to -HolocaustandGenocides@gmail.com

Mike Ghouse, Chair
Holocaust and Genocides
www.holocaustandGenocides.com


Good to hear about this fantastic initiative!


Indeed, more education and information about these tragedies is of utmost importance. Without such, the possibility that these horrific events can occur again is real. I hope that along with the history, a great deal of attention is placed on what allowed these events to occur, mainly, that people watched and did nothing. When we see people being persecuted, when we see people denied basic human rights, we must raise our voices and say "no!" The mantra associated with The Holocaust is "Never Again", yet to be true to the to the call, requires first that we even know about what happened, and second, that each of us take responsibility for our role.
I applaud these educational and participatory events, I encourage all to attend, and to speak out and speak up, for these atrocities still occur in our world today.
Len Ellis
Dallas Peace Center


Yes, we will attend. Sikhs are those who suffered because of religious and ethnic hatred. They like to join all to make it sure that the hatred is transformed into understanding of the human suffering all over the world. The idea of sharing the suffering of the world is a powerful one to move the world where such atrocities are never inflicted on any human being, and if and when it ever happens again, it may be shared by all.
Harbans Lal,
DFW Sikhs for Interfaith Understanding


As a Kashmiri Hindu, I applaud the mention of our plight at the reflection program on January 24, no one cares about our issue, it was a relief to see them mention it.


It is our duty, a moral obligation to acknolwedge the pain and suffering of all people. There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause.

We all have to learn to see eye to eye, face to face, some one related to us via land mass, faith or race was a butcher, it does not mean, you and I are. We have to bring about a change by simply being human - feeling the pain of other no matter who it is, that is what makes us human.

We are looking forward to All day conference in January 2011 to acknowlege every human suffering, whether they are technically genocide or not. LIfe is precious and must be valued.

Mike Ghouse, Chair
Holocaust and Genocides
Dallas, Texas
www.HolocaustandGenocides.com


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