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Feb 11 2020

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“Never Stay Silent!”

Photos by Patricia Williams

 

February 11, 2020: The STF Winter Workshop featured Holocaust survivor Bill Harvey who generously shared his story of surviving the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald Concentration Camps. Amy Marczewski Carnes of the USC Shoah Foundation introduced Bill by emphasizing the importance of “story” as a means of human connection and education for advocacy work. Bill, who is nearly 96-years-old, told STFers that he defines success in life by the impact and the good that is shared with people. Importantly, he expressed how critical it is to speak up against discrimination in every form, “Never stay silent!”

In a note to STF Executive Director Pam Bruns, Bill wrote, “I was very gratified to spend the evening with such wonderful teenagers. They were all extremely bright students and their involvement (in human rights) will surely make this world a better place to live in. And if I left even the smallest impact on their lives, then my day was made.” Bill spends every Saturday at the Museum of Tolerance where visitors to the museum from all over come to hear him speak.

STFers also had the opportunity to see and hear from student activist Ryan Beam via a video conference call. Ryan, who lives in Northern California, has advocated for a California state constitutional amendment (ACA 4) which would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by election day. Ryan was inspired by his time interning with State Assemblymember Mark Stone. Ryan brought attention to voter disenfranchisement by having two op-eds published in the Sacramento Bee and the LA Times and was invited to testify before the state legislature in favor of ACA 4.

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