On Monday night, the residents of New Castle gathered via Zoom for the 1st Annual Human Rights Day Program organized by the Town of New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee and the Horace Greeley High School Student Club E.N.O.U.G.H. (Educate Now On Understanding Genocide and Hate.)
The event featured Keynote Speaker Stephen D. Smith, who is the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education, the Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, the former Director of the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda and the founder of the UK Holocaust Centre in England. Mr. Smith is also an adjunct Professor of religion at USC, author of Never Again! Yet Again! and also holds two honorary doctorates. The community also heard remarks from the Co-Presidents of E.N.O.U.G.H., Charlie Gordon and Sam Rosenberg, and two members of E.N.O.U.G.H., Hayden Parsons and Leela Young, resident and Co-Chair of the New Castle Council on Race and Equity (CRE) Zabeen Mirza and one of New Castle’s most recognizable residents President Bill Clinton.
During the event the community heard a message of hope from the President. Zabeen Mirza, shared with the community that, “Everyday is Human Rights day here at the CRE because, everyday people of color are fighting for their basic human rights.” The event’s Keynote speaker Stephen D. Smith did an incredible job connecting the past with the present as he inspired the next generation to take action. During the presentation Stephen shared the following with the New Castle community, “When we exclude people from our community, our society and our politics…when we don’t turn toward each other and listen to each other and create that sense of we…human rights abuses and ultimately, genocide occur. I often say as a scholar of genocide, that genocide is not about the mass killing of human beings, it’s about exclusion taken to its ultimate extreme.”
The students of E.N.O.U.G.H. announced at Monday night’s event that they are beginning a fundraiser in support of the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingya are an ethnic group in Myanmar who are one of the most discriminated groups in the world, facing a type of “ethnic cleansing” run by their own government. The Club is raising money to help Rohingya refugees have access to education, medication, vaccinations, clean drinking water and counseling. All of the money raised by the Club will go to UNICEF, an organization that is doing a tremendous amount in support of this human rights crisis. Donations can be made by cash or check payable to the Chappaqua Central School District and mailed to: Horace Greeley High School, Attn. Mr. Matt Friedler, 70 Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514.