Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the current responses to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Nous pleurons avec le peuple de France. Ce qui s’est passé vendredi soir est inimaginable. Les Parisiens faisaient ce que tout le monde fait dans une société libre : ils passaient la soirée dehors avec des amis ou en famille, ils dînaient, buvaient, riaient, écoutaient de la musique, regardaient un match de football. À La fin de la soirée, plus de 120 personnes avaient été assassinées, des centaines blessées et des milliers terrorisées. Nous l’étions tous, d’ailleurs.
Une société libre et ouverte se fonde sur un contrat social qui prescrit que nous vivions ensemble dans la paix et le respect. Le terrorisme rompt ce contrat. C’est son objectif, pour qu’il devienne plus difficile de rester ouverts et inclusifs.
We mourn with the people of France. Friday evening’s events are unimaginable. Parisians were doing the things that people do in a free society, enjoying an evening out with friends and family, having dinner, a drink, a laugh, hearing music, watching a football match. By the end of the night, more than 100 people were murdered, hundreds were injured and thousands more were terrorized. In fact, we all were.
Remaining a free and open society is based on a social contract, that we will live together with respect and in peace. Terrorism disrupts this. It is designed to do just that, making it harder to remain open and inclusive.
“The movement to end war and mass atrocities spans centuries, peoples, and ideologies”
I became interested in international criminal law and genocide prevention through Facing History and Ourselves’ founder Margot Stern Strom, for whom I interned during my gap year between high school and college. Margot introduced me to the thoughts of Benjamin Ferencz, the only surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials. As I read through Ben’s articles and books, I internalized his call to action. Margot and Ben’s approach to the world resonated with my heart, my deepest sense of human dignity, and my own moral reasoning as to how we must learn to get along with each other as one human community.
“In conversation, we were all able to see and understand circumstances beyond our own..."
In 2011, when I was 13 years old, my family and I traveled to South Africa. My dad was born and raised in Cape Town. In 1976, the Soweto Uprising and corrupt Apartheid government prompted his parents to move their family to Toronto, Canada. During our trip, I spent time in Khayelitsha, Langa, and Gugulethu, black townships near Cape Town, with children close to my age who shared many of my interests. I was struck by their harsh living conditions and bleak educational futures relative to my own. The connections I made inspired my desire to make a positive difference. But, at the time, I was in middle school and I had no clue how.
This week, 16 educators in the UK are participating in our core professional development seminar “Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behaviour.”