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The Anne Frank Project: Changing the World through Stories

The Anne Frank Project: Changing the World through Stories

Posted: August 29, 2014

Since its inception in 2009, Buffalo State’s Anne Frank Project (AFP) has thoughtfully examined the travesty of genocide, along with issues such as racism, bullying, and intolerance that continue to permeate our world.

The idea grew out of a student production of The Diary of Anne Frank that wove in a storyline about a Rwandan girl mirroring Frank’s life. That play bloomed into an annual conference in which actors, poets, visual artists, musicians, activists, and genocide survivors deliver compelling presentations on different aspects of social justice; each year follows a theme and thousands of visitors attend.

This year the multidisciplinary conference, Change Through Stories, will take place September 8–10 throughout campus. Free and open to the public, the sixth annual AFP conference is composed of 45 sessions that use the arts and hands-on activities to convey how each person has the power to effect change in the world.

"This is not a passive conference," explained AFP director and theater professor Drew Kahn. "Every session will actively involve attendees so the information will move from their heads to their hearts. We want to hear from people—students, as well as people throughout our community. What are their stories? How can they take what they gleaned from the sessions and apply it to their own lives?"

Conference highlights

Buffalo storyteller, educator, and author Karima Amin who will present “Storytelling for Joy and Justice” on Monday, September 8, at 9:30 a.m. in the Donald Savage Theater and Communication Building.

Actor André De Shields (pictured) in a self-crafted solo performance of Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory on Monday, September 8, at 7:00 p.m. in the Warren Enters Theatre. Free. Limited seating, tickets required

In Between, a semi-autobiographical one-man show by Ibrahim Miari that portrays the complexities and contradictions inherent in Palestinian-Israeli identity on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m. in Warren Enters Theatre.

Humanitarians Carl and Theresa Wilkens who founded the educational nonprofit “World Outside My Shoes,” will present “rEi: Exploring Global Turf,” on Wednesday, September 10, at 9:00 a.m. in the Donald Savage Theater and Communication Building. The Wilkens were building schools in Rwanda when the genocide against the Tutsi exploded in 1994. Together they decided Carl would stay while Teresa and their young children evacuated. Carl was the only American among 10 Europeans to remain.

For more information visit, or call (716) 878-5559.

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