The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights introduced my students and me to the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise. I began bringing my middle school students to the center to deepen our understanding of the Holocaust and how to stand up against hate. These experiences at the center supported my students when they decided to make a Holocaust memorial in the small town of New Meadows, Idaho. Their reach is far from young children to adults.
My name is Stan. Leading yours is the highlight for me. People bring a wealth of experience. Being an Upstander is our focus. On one tour there was a young woman of color. I was interested to know which color but couldn't just ask. When the group shared about their favorite quote, she said her favorite was ," It is better to stand on your feet than die on your knees." When asked why this was her favorite she said," I reminds me of my grandfathers poetry." "And where was your grandfather from?" She gathered herself and said," My grandfather helped Gandhi kick the British out of india. This was an Upstander.
I have been a docent at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial for 13 years. These tours can consist of school age people from 1st graders to college age students. It is always an adventure for me; as there always are reactions and questions that challenge me.
The most memorable are tours with international students and refugee students. As examples, there are Boise State University Foundations international students. Some had heard of neither Anne Frank nor The Holocaust!
Another tour included refugees from several different nations. When we came to the quote by Olaudah Equiano, a teen from Afganistan was amazed that there was slavery in the USA for many years.
It is very rewarding to open their minds to new experiences and historical knowledge.
I’ve loved getting involved with the Anne frank memorial and working on projects with people who care as much about human rights as I do! I am grateful that this is part of our community and that we can come together as such. I was also able to share my own story of survival and hope - and it’s Really helped me connect to others as well as the important issues that we are facing today.
I am the current Board President for the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, home of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. Who would have thought - a Memorial embracing Anne Frank's story in Boise Idaho of all places. But then you have to ask yourself, why not Boise, Idaho? Human rights is and should be fundamental, universal. It is and should be non-partisan. It is and should be what everybody who lives, walks, breathes experiences no matter who they are or where they reside.
What I love about our organization is that the mission is to teach and encourage - not just our children but people of all ages - how to be an "Upstander", so that those we touch can leverage their own approach of personal advocacy for human rights, in their own unique manner and energy level.
Article one of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a great place to start and fundamental to what we do. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood".
Unfortunately history has taught us the world will always require a poignant reminder of this most basic of lessons. Behavior is modified through education and never forgetting the tragic lessons of the past. Therefore I ask you - What better investment is there for current and future generations?
The Center was officially started in 2002, however, I had the pleasure of sitting in a Living Room with a group of friends discussing the possibility of this concept. I don't believe any of us expected the success and growth this organization would undergo over the course of time.As an Advisory Board member I am never ceased to be amazed with the continued growth and relevance of the on growing programs available to Youth, Adults,& Educators. Especially, at a time when human dignity, diversity and fairness to all is necessary, the Center continues to be relevant and because of their level of respect has built partnerships with community leadership, business and industry. They continue to re-evaluate to make sure all offerings and programs are useful to all !!! Idaho is fortunate to have their presence !!!
If you value Human Rights, then the Wassmuth Center is an extremely worthy organization to support. It provides valuable education to teachers, students, the immediate community, and through the vast resources on its website, the world. The Center is the umbrella for the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial, which gives tours to many different kinds of groups. It contains an outdoor classroom, the complete Universal Declaration of Human Rights on display, and a meditation alcove harboring a quote wall and waterfall. Visiting this meaningful site is an experience you won’t forget.