News & Events

Congolese Torture Survivor, Holocaust Survivor Max Glauben And Others Speak About Human Rights At The Dhm/cet

The Museum hosted its first annual “Human Rights Panel and Public Discussion” on Aug. 5 before a crowd of about 65 people. The evening panel discussion was flanked by two days of workshops—a full day on both Monday and Tuesday, August 5 and 6, presented exclusively for teachers. Presentations included an exploration of the Anti- defamation league’s Holocaust curriculum, a Holocaust survivor’s testimony, the testimony of a Congolese massacre survivor, an examination of the impact of hatred on our lives, an overview of President Kennedy and his role in civil rights, the legal path for negotiating US asylum laws for Rwandan genocide survivors and an overview of how the Cambodian genocide came about.

The evening Human Rights Panel Discussion was open to the public and the Museum’s Senior Director of Education, Dr. Sara Abosch, was the moderator. Panelist Robert Falay, a Congolese torture survivor and asylee brought a horrifying and humbling realism to the discussion. In 2010, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Falay, a lawyer and human rights advocate was dragged from a taxi, handcuffed, blindfolded, and forced into a truck. He explained. “I had been publicly critical of a number of government officials and security forces for their tolerance of war crime and human rights abuses, and their oppression of human rights workers in the Congo.” As a result, the Republican Guard of the DRC kidnapped Robert and took him to a military camp. In the camp, he endured different forms of physical and psychological torture, before managing to escape. Knowing his family would be in danger if he stayed, Robert fled to the United States.

The other three panelists were Bill Holston, Executive Director of the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas; Dionna Little, Pro Bono Lawyer; and Dr. JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz, head of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Studies there.

Excerpts from the panel can be seen in two parts via YouTube.

The Panel Discussion was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, and HRI was a co-presenter and partner for the two-day teacher’s conference.

The entire event was fully sponsored through grants which meant that the 39 teachers were able to participate without out-of-pocket costs.

The daytime conference speakers included Holocaust survivor, Max Glauben; Roberta Clark, Community Director of the Anti-Defamation League; Sharron Wilkins Conrad, Associate Director of Education at the Sixth Floor Museum; Jennifer Bowden, Director of Education at the World Affairs Council; Emmanuel Sebagabo, a Congolese massacre survivor; and Evan Tilden, pro bono lawyer with the Human Rights Initiative.