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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 9, 2020 12:40 PM
From: Representative Sara Innamorato
To: All House members
Subject: Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”

This quote, provided by the influential Elie Wiesel, speaks volumes. As a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II, Elie Wiesel experienced first-hand the depravity and inhumanity caused by the mass genocide of the Jewish people. His words are a solemn reminder that atrocities, like the Holocaust, must be remembered in order to prevent future calamities.

Although the term “genocide” wasn’t created until the 20th century, the act of genocide has plagued countless nations throughout history. Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people generally due to their ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion. Mass killings, such as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and the Rwandan genocide have death estimations reaching the millions. Even today, the Darfur and Rohingya genocide are still ongoing with thousands of people having been killed.

In an effort to raise awareness about past and current genocides, I am introducing legislation that would designate April 2020 as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month in Pennsylvania. This legislation, inspired by the work of World Without Genocide, will not only allow us to honor the survivors and lives lost to these atrocities, but advocate for the prevention of future genocides.

Through the celebration of our unique differences, I believe we can begin to build peaceful communities, both locally and globally. I ask that you please consider co-sponsoring this legislation and help Pennsylvania take the first step towards a better tomorrow.

Introduced as HR817