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College to Recognize 25th Anniversary of Genocide in Rwanda

College to Recognize 25th Anniversary of Genocide in Rwanda

Posted: April 25, 2019

Buffalo State is hosting Kwibuka25, a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, on Sunday, April 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center 215.

In just 100 days in 1994, Hutu extremists slaughtered 1 million Tutsi in this East African country. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as Hutu moderates who were attempting to help the Tutsi.  

“There is no cultural, biological, or ethnic difference between Tutsi and Hutu—they were all Rwandans,” noted Drew Kahn, Buffalo State Distinguished Service Professor and founder and director of the college’s Anne Frank Project (AFP), which focuses on genocide among other atrocities. “It is an economic classification, nothing more.”

The college has partnered with Rwanda for educational projects for the past 10 years, including annual trips to Rwanda, in which Kahn takes a small cadre of students to train teachers how to integrate story-based learning into their classrooms. 

“We also distribute multiple copies of the Diary of Anne Frank to their schools and libraries,” Kahn said. “Our work has impacted more than 50,000 Rwanda students, teachers, and administrators. It was an honor to bring President Conway-Turner to Rwanda last fall so she could personally witness Buffalo State’s impact, relationships, and partnerships in Rwanda.”

Kwibuka25 is an international commemoration intended to “Remember, unite, and renew.”

“The connections and similarities to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) are stunning, sobering, and poignant,” Kahn said. “This is an excellent opportunity for all of Buffalo’s cultural and religious communities to connect with one of our local African communities to express our solidarity in the pledge, 'Never again!'”

During the commemoration, a Rwandan survivor, a representative from the Rwanda embassy, and President Conway-Turner will speak.

For more information, visit the AFP website or call Kahn at (716) 878-5221.

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