The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

Using the Library to Promote Genocide Awareness

By Annalee Tutterow, Davie County High School STAND

As an event to conclude the 2011-2012 school year, my STAND chapter chose to emphasize Holocaust Memorial Day. After I received numerous donations of books from my local community, our chapter decided that exposing other students to literature relating to mass atrocities was crucial. On April 19, the day commemorating those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, Davie High STAND dedicated a section of the school library to genocide awareness. Now, all books relating to genocide or mass atrocities wear the symbol of a five-pointed star on the binding. Hopefully, students will immediately recognize the content of the book with such a physical designation and actually give a second thought to genocide and mass atrocities.

We held the “dedication” in the school library before school, and the attendance was small and intimate. This was the first “formal” event held by my chapter and through this experience I learned many “dos and don’ts” of event planning. Each member of the club took a turn lighting a candle for a particular group targeted in the Holocaust. A helpful tip for any candle lighting ceremony – determine beforehand if the lighter actually works. There was a moment of panic but the problem was solved shortly (always bring a replacement). Surprisingly, such a simple act as the lighting of a candle can convey a powerful message to an audience. Even considering the little glitches in my planning (this coming from a perpetual perfectionist), I still feel that my STAND chapter achieved our goal—promoting genocide awareness in our school.  

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