Over 125 Brookdale Community College Students Visited Chhange
December 13, 2018
“Learning from the lessons of our past to respond to the challenges inherent in our future” is a fundamental value of Brookdale Community College. This is one of the many reasons for the strong partnership between Brookdale and Chhange, the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education. On Thursday, December 6th, Brookdale students had the opportunity to visit Chhange’s exhibit Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience in which they witnessed local survivor testimony and archival objects from the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. In the final section of the exhibit, Stand Up for Human Rights, Brookdalians learned about action steps to address current crises in the world. Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience empowers visitors to engage with the history of genocide and connect the lessons of the past to today’s world.
Brookdale’s Office of Student Activities co-sponsored this expansive learning experience with Chhange, enlisting the participation of many student clubs, and providing lunch for the students during College Hour. Students met with local Holocaust survivors Eva Wiener, Claire Boren, and Lola Kline, all featured in Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience. Adrienne Aldermeshian, descendant of a Holocaust survivor and wife of a descendant of a survivor from the Armenian Genocide, provided insight into the personal testimonies from the Armenian Genocide. Andrew Anderson of the Students for Global Citizenship club described his experience, stating, “The most exciting part was the personal testimonies of survivors and their descendants, who also donated materials to the exhibit. They brought the stories to life and were an influential aspect of the tour.”
Dr. Terry Konn, advisor for the Students for Global Citizenship club on campus, brought her students to learn more about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Dr. Konn makes regular trips to Rwanda to teach radiology technology at Rwandan schools. Many of the historic objects on display in this section of the exhibit are on loan from Dr. Konn, who has spent time with both victims and perpetrators of this genocide.
Brookdale students had the opportunity to confront two current human rights crises—cyberbullying and human trafficking in Stand Up for Human Rights. Students used interactive, touch-screen technology to learn about these issues and select action steps to stand up for human rights, including contacting state representatives to discuss the issues, divesting from companies that use slave labor, and sharing information about the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Additional current crises will be added to the exhibit in coming months.
Chhange welcomes Brookdale classes from across disciplines to Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience. Spring semester is booking quickly, so please schedule your class visits. The exhibit is also open for individual visits and other group tours. Admission is $10.00 per person, $8.00 for groups of 8 or more. Brookdale Community College students and Chhange members may visit the exhibit free of charge. Visitors should schedule an appointment with Ally at 732-224-1889.
Chhange is a 501(c)(3) independent, non-profit organization. May 2019 marks Chhange’s 40th anniversary as a Holocaust, genocide, and human rights education center. To learn more about Journeys Beyond Genocide: The Human Experience, Chhange’s programs and educational initiatives, and how you can become a member, donate to, or volunteer at Chhange, please visit our website at www.chhange.org.