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The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo honoring David Rust and Kinja Bagalwa at virtual 'Upstander Celebration'

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Mon, May 17th 2021 07:00 am

The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo (HRC), a local organization “dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust, remembering the survivors and victims, and promoting social justice, civic responsibility and human rights,” will hold its second “Upstander Celebration” event virtually at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20.

During the celebration, HRC will present the Sophia Veffer Upstander Award to David Rust, executive director of Say Yes Buffalo, a nonprofit education foundation committed to providing a powerful engine for long-term economic development through radically improving the life course of public school students in the City of Buffalo. This award is named in honor of Holocaust survivor Sophia Veffer, who – the organization stated – “has dedicated her life to encouraging students and community members to be upstanders by assisting those who need help and to stand up in the face of adversity.”

HRC will also be announcing the inaugural Student Upstander Award at the event, presented to Kinja Bagalwa, a senior at Hutchinson Technical Institute. Kinja is the president of her French Club, a member of/mentor for JROTC, and is in the top 10% of her class. She has logged over 90 hours of community service – from being an interpreter for newcomer families who speak Swahili to volunteering in the labor and delivery unit at Catholic Health. In addition, she interned at the Explore & More Children’s Museum and for the mayor’s summer youth program. Kinja will receive tuition to attend the Academy for Human Right’s Summer Symposium that provides students the opportunity to hear internationally known human rights experts, take part in hands-on activities and field trips, and learn the skills they need to make an impact on the community, nation and world.

Further details and registration for the event are available here.

The Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo was founded in 1983 by Toby Ticktin Back with the support of the Jewish Federation of Buffalo and a nonsectarian group of founders. Through educating the community about the Holocaust, hosting educator conferences, and preserving survivor testimony and artifacts, it teaches the lessons of the Holocaust, remembers the survivors and victims, and promotes social justice, civic responsibility and human rights.

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