April is Genocide Awareness Month thanks to work of local religious and political leaders

Rabbi Michael Harvey and State Rep. Chris Campbell worked to pass the resolution through the Indiana Statehouse this legislative session.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 10:34 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A local religious leader teamed up with a state representative to bring new meaning to the month of April.

April is now "Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month" in the state of Indiana. Rabbi Michael Harvey from Temple Israel has been working on this for about a year. He worked with State Representative Chris Campbell to pass the resolution this legislative session.

April has several tragic milestones in it, including the anniversary of the Darfur genocide in Sudan, the siege of Sarajevo in Bosnia, the Cambodian genocide, Rwandan Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Many people from around the world look to make Indiana their home, especially in university towns like West Lafayette, South Bend and Bloomington. Rabbi Harvey said this resolution sends an important message to those people.

"We have people who come here from overseas who have lived in conflicted areas," he said. "It's to let people know that we as a state of Indiana, acknowledge that, we welcome these people, it gives an idea about how to welcome refugees to say this is a place of safe haven that people can come and live and work."

It's also about giving educational tools to people so that future generations can learn about these situations and what can be done to prevent them.

Rabbi Harvey said even though we are facing a health pandemic, other tragedy still occurs in the world.

"We all have to remember that the problems of this country and the problems of the world don't stop because of the coronavirus," he said. "So we have to recognize that even though we are stuck inside and even though there are some restrictions, there are real issues that are going on in the world and they don't stop just because we are in quarantine."

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