JCAST Chicago February Blog
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, 60,000 students enter to learn every year. Some days we have 500 people within our walls wondering what happened so many years ago when a despot was given complete control. Dehumanizing people as commodities, a genocide enslaving a population. To this, we say,” never again!”
In the Holocaust, we see the absence of human rights, a population enslaved without choices. Why would someone choose to be hurtful? Hitler used force, fraud, coercion, and terror. Survivors were victimized with no resolution. Empowering is our job. It is to make a difference, to help with the understanding of our own communities and to provide the venue to widen our world hoping to be the person that will make our world safe for democracy for future generations.
We emphasize respect, empathy, courage and through the Holocaust, treasure what we can learn from rescuers and survivors the qualities they exhibit, and how to transform them into our lives. What actions did they take? Where and with whom? Culture defines us. We emphasize convictions in one’s own beliefs, working together to problem solve. Change is attainable. Activism is a venue, with the understanding of crimes against humanity, and taking a stand as an upstander.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center, “furthers preserves the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring those lost and teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference and human rights and the elimination of genocide.”
JCAST’s mission to come together with partners of those “concerned by human rights and the empowerment of women, and ending the community and take action to end the demand for purchased sex and protect children” reflects the mission of the Illinois Holocaust Museum with the power of education to make a difference. The Museum is working hard to change the thinking of people, broaden their understanding of the existence of history, and come together to fight and resist the inhumane treatment of those with victimless crimes.
Sex trafficking presents a similar picture. Abuse, control of one’s lives by others, exploitation, brainwashing, are all aspects of those that are trafficked. We look as women as survivors. We are looking for a world without exploitation.
As a call for action, we need to talk, know the warning signs, be that person that is an upstander who involves themselves in the avenue of human rights for all of us.
~ Susan Block, JCAST Chicago Steering Committee Member