And justice for all

Springville FA’s Andrew Beiter (second from left) and NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi with students attending the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies at the Erie 1 BOCES Center in West Seneca.

Schools may be closed for the summer but there’s never NOT a good time to learn how to make a difference in the world.

That’s just what students attending the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies are doing this week. The institute offers participants a week of workshops, speakers and discussion about social justice issues.  The institute is under the direction of Andrew Beiter, an eighth-grade social studies teacher and a longtime activist with the Springville Faculty Association in Erie County.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi was yesterday’s featured speaker on a day that focused on “resistance in New York state and the world.” Iannuzzi was joined by John Heffernan of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, one of NYSUT’s social justice partners. Their topics included the fight for farmworker justice in New York — one of NYSUT’s legislative priorities this year — and how students can make change happen through their schools.

Other topics throughout the week include the Rwandan genocide, the Holocaust and Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, which occurred 50 years ago this year. A day of service was held earlier in the week at St. Luke’s Mission in Buffalo.

The institute continues through tomorrow afternoon at the Erie 1 BOCES Center in West Seneca.

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