Club hosts speakers, holds bake sale for genocide awareness

Jacob Goodman

In support of Genocide Awareness Week, the Genocide Awareness and Activism Club hosted two representatives from human rights organization Jewish World Watch, who spoke Feb. 20 on their experiences with genocide in the Congo.

Naama Haviv, the Assistant Director of Jewish World Watch, shared stories about her visits to the Congo and how they have shaped her career and views of global and local legislature in regards to genocide awareness.

Haviv told a story about a woman named Renee, whose town was destroyed by the rebel army in Congo, to demonstrate the physical and emotional toll that the mass killings have on the people of the Congo.

“It’s not about sex, it’s not about power, it’s about the wholesale destruction of communities through women,” Haviv said.

Haviv encouraged students to advocate on behalf of genocide awareness.  She urged students to talk to local congressmen and to make sure that the Harvard-Westlake community is a part of the genocide awareness lobby.

“Our job is to stand up and say ‘never again.’ This does not mean the next war, not the next genocide, but the next Renee,” Haviv said.

Julie Bram, a board member of JWW, spoke after Haviv about the seventh annual Walk to End Genocide on April 14.

For the walk, JWW partnered with several other companies, like Nika Water and Tom’s Shoes, who are benefitting work in the Congo and other rural areas. Tom’s Shoes is giving away $50 gift certificates to the highest fundraiser at the walk.

Harvard-Westlake already has a fundraising group that is registered for the walk and students are encouraged to join on the JWW website.

The Genocide Awareness club will continue Genocide Awareness Week with a bake sale and t-shirt sale on Friday Feb. 22. The proceeds will go to another Jewish World Watch program called The Safe Motherhood Projects, which helps mothers in the Congo provide pre-natal and maternity care for themselves through small businesses.