Fifth Annual FHM Initiative will Reveal Local, International First-Person Account of Modern-Day Slavery and Genocide
Immokalee Workers, Rwanda’s Clemantine Wamariya Among Headliners for Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month; Free and Open to all.
With a core focus to use the lessons of the past in creating a better future for all, the FHM today unveiled a schedule of six events, free and open to the public, for their annual Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month, beginning March 27.
Among the presenters are two members from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) that were enslaved a mere 145 miles from downtown St. Petersburg. They are among nearly 1,200 freed from slavery by CIW in the Southeastern United States as recently as 2008. The impact of their personal journeys influenced giants including Walmart and Whole Foods to boycott the purchasing of produce from farms known to perpetuate modern-day slavery.
Presenter Clemantine Wamariya was six-years-old when genocide erupted in her native Rwanda. After losing many members of her family, she and her sixteen-year-old sister Claire were separated from their parents. After coming to the United States, Clemantine wrote a high school essay using her personal experience to demonstrate how Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir Night remains true and relevant to this very day. Her essay was brought to the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who invited the sisters onto The Oprah Winfrey Show where they were reunited with parents they had not seen for 12 years.
These are just two examples of how prejudice and modern-day greed continue to disrupt the lives of thousands in societies across our nation and around the world, yet remain off the radar of most.
“We hope to raise awareness and motivate people to take action against injustice, racism and intolerance in their own communities and globally,” said Elizabeth Gelman, Executive Director of the FHM. “the Museum is dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of all people.”
The GHRAM schedule includes many stories of hope, gratitude, and triumph. Among the presenters is the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous’ Executive Vice President, Stanlee Stahl, who will speak about the legacy of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Nelly Trocme Hewett will reveal the story of her father and mother, a local pastor and his wife, who led an entire region of small French villages in hiding over 5,000 people, mostly Jewish, from Nazis and Vichy authorities from 1940 to 1944.
The Florida Holocaust Museum’s Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month is presented in conjunction with USF St. Petersburg and USF Tampa as well as St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Temple Beth El, and the Pardoll Family Lectures Series and coincides with several exhibitions.