2024 Colloquium Explores Propaganda


Contact: Suzanne Esterman, 732.224.1889

Chhange’s 42nd Annual Colloquium Explores Propaganda

Chhange held its 42nd Annual Colloquium, “Confronting Propaganda: Your Message Matters,” on May 15, 2024, at the Robert J. Collins Arena on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J.

Hundreds of students, educators, and community members came together to learn from two outstanding plenary speakers: Renee Hobbs, Founder of the Media Education Lab and one of the world’s leading experts on media literacy education, and Consolee Nishimwe, a Survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

With Prof. Hobbs, the participants explored how propaganda influences our knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior and how we can use the power of propaganda to activate critical thinking. From Ms. Nishimwe, they learned about the critical role propaganda played in the incitement to hatred and violence against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the perpetration of the crime of genocide.

“I was thrilled to see how engaged our audience of more than 450 middle and high school students and educators was with the theme of our 42nd Annual Colloquium. Students posed thought-provoking questions that underscored their interest in and understanding of the complexity of the issues our plenary speakers discussed,” said Dr. Asya Darbinyan, Chhange’s Executive Director.

The plenary session was followed by small-group workshops on the personal experiences of Holocaust survivors; the danger of conspiracy theories; injustice in Chiapas, Mexico; American slavery; media literacy strategies; and more. These workshops were led by the following educators, scholars, and community activists: Prof. David Bassano (Brookdale CC), Christina Chavarria (USHMM), Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps, Prof. Renee Hobbs, George Kolber (co-author of Thrown Upon the World), Joe Nappi (2023-24 NJ State Teacher of the Year), Prof. Christian Perez (Brookdale CC), as well as Lola Kline and Eva Wiener, two local Holocaust Survivors.

Following the sessions, guests and participants were invited to preview Chhange's exhibit of student art addressing and interpreting the Colloquium’s theme: “Confronting Propaganda: Your Message Matters.” The Artists’ Reception for this exhibit, Chhange’s 10th Annual Student Art Installation, will take place on Sunday, June 9, from 2 pm to 4 pm, at the Center for Visual Art (CVA) on Brookdale Community College’s Lincroft campus.

Each year, Chhange educates, inspires, and empowers thousands of individuals, providing them with the tools to become active, engaged citizens.


Chhange educates, inspires, and empowers individuals to stand up to injustice.