WORCESTER, Mass. (A.W.)—On Tues., April 24, a student-led anti genocide group—STAND—at Clark University ended the semester with an event celebrating genocide awareness and prevention month, as well as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
In the theme of informed activism, the event highlighted the necessity of action following education. This particular action was prompted by Prof. Taner Akcam’s lecture on March 21 on denialism in the global community. Akcam highlighted how denial is much more than just the lack of recognition of genocide. Denial poses a threat to the increased awareness of genocide. Denial is a threat to the protection of minority groups throughout the world, including right now in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government in Khartoum is withholding food aid and incessantly bombing the region.
After learning about denialism and the threats it poses to peace and security worldwide, Clark STAND, with help from J Street, held this day of action during April, Genocide and Prevention Month, and on April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The group wrote around 200 letters—100 to U.S. Representatives urging them to co-sponsor the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act, and 90 letters to President Obama urging him to publicly recognize the Armenian Genocide and pressure other officials to do the same. Ultimately the event symbolized the Clark University community’s commitment to challenging convention and speaking out against human rights violations and mass atrocities.