Blog Post #3

Mariana Villada

April 9th, 2016

Blog Post #3

This research provides insights into the perception of a sample of Chinese undergraduate students on the characteristics and impact of the rise of the middle class in China. Our research uses a survey research methodology distributed to 107 students at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology. We compared our results from the survey to other studies analyzing the points of view of China’s general public, opinion leaders, and business leaders, as well as growing and modernizing urban populations in China.

The results of our study demonstrate that today’s students have somewhat different views of the middle class and its future role in China than other found studies. Because our study specifically targets educated youth and other found studies do not we found that our study defines the middle class differently than others. Most of the existing research suggest that occupation is the defining characteristic of the middle class, however, the students in our survey use education and median income as the two key defining characteristics of the middle class.

We also found that the university students from our survey are much more oriented towards working in the private sector and much less interested in seeking state employment. This may indicate a possible alternative view for the future role of the middle class in China. The current younger generation is much more westernized and seems to have so much more values that are individualistic. We conclude that the educated youth are much more conservative politically about advocating social and economic changes, but if they are persistent on social changes it may have an impact on China in the near future.

 

The Latino Vote: All Ballots [Now] Count

Since my last blog post, there has been a huge development in voting rights laws. On July 20th, a federal appeals court decreed that Texas’ voter ID law violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act because it has a discriminatory effect on minority voters. This was exciting for me to read about as that is a significant part of the thesis of my research project with Dr. Lavariega, and to see it come to life through media announcements validates our findings – though all the credit goes towards the civil rights groups who advocate for remedying voter identification laws. Furthermore, this declaration on voter discrimination is a monumental step for minority populations because it allows disenfranchised populations (namely Blacks and Latinos/Hispanics) to vote with more accessible forms of identification.

This recent development on voter privileges supplements another one of my paper’s arguments that the real reason minority voters are targeted with discriminatory voter laws is because they are most likely to vote Democrat. Voter identification laws were instigated by partisan divisions influenced by racial tensions. Democrats argue against laws that hinder voter accessibility, while Republicans endorse voter identification laws because they are concerned about voting abuse. Voting fraud is nothing more than a politically conjured myth to prevent effective political change from occurring. Republicans have advocated for voter identification laws as the primary solution for addressing election fraud. Unsurprisingly, a large majority of Democratic supporters belong to disenfranchised populations that are negatively impacted by increased standards in voter identification laws.

I am still analyzing data results from Latino interviewees in Texas, and I am working with an Economics student to analyze those variables and do an economic regression analysis. Since I only have a basic foundation of economics, learning how to organize and conduct an economic analysis has been slightly overwhelming and frustrating, yet also exciting. Its reminded me that as much as I love learning and want to learn everything quickly, I still need to learn patience and how to appreciate the process. Some patterns I’ve discovered in the data are that being a registered voter versus a non-registered voter is a class privilege seen in how people are able to acquire legal voter identification. Income, education, and race are correlated factors that present a consistent pattern: low-income, less-educated minority voters are less likely to have legal voter identification compared to their high-income, more-educated White counterparts. Voters of a lower socioeconomic status often do not have the time, money, and resources to take off from work to obtain identification since their priority would be to earn money; the only other way for them to vote would be to participate in other voting days and location hours. These reasons are socioeconomic factors that do not encourage voting and active political behavior. Instead of feeling motivated, minority voters are deterred from the voting process because their socioeconomic status does not set them up with conditions that encourage voting. As many as 600,000 Texas racial minorities could have been excluded from the upcoming presidential election if they could not obtain the appropriate identification. Thus, the recent turnover in Texas’ voter ID law reveals how voter registration and ID laws have been used as suppression tactics to counter assumed (though non-existent) voter fraud.

What happened in Texas has caused a domino effect in other states – such as North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and North Dakota. As the presidential election approaches, Republican-led states will be under the media spotlight to see how they will approach integrating freshly decreed non-discriminatory voter ID laws. This is one of the many steps needed to restoring democratic integrity to America’s (lack of) political participation.

Blog Post 2: Transition Economies

Josh De Leon

Undergraduate Research

Professor Shostya

15 August 2016

 

Market Enhancing Institutions, Country Risk and Economic Growth in Transition Economies

Discuss the progress you have made so far. Describe the data and/or the results and findings of the research (where applicable), and provide insights and reflections on the data and/or results and findings.

Throughout this summer, I have read several scholarly articles and a few books at the same time. Professor Shostya and I have come to several issues with our data and it took us a few weeks to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. We have come to many different sample sizes before coming to conclusion on how many countries we would use, what time frame, and what variables. Originally we began with 24 countries and were analyzing them from 1992-2014. Currently, we are using 29 countries and analyzing them from 1999-2014. With this occurring we unfortunately had to forgo including two impactful crises on transition economies. While changing our numbers from our previous intent, we have also been working on our lit review.

Include any questions raised from the data you collected.

From the data that I have collected, I have come to many concerns and questions regarding the results of the data. For example, upon garnering the data for Country risk, it was difficult to figure out the Country Risk for a country in a given year because the source that documents the Country Risk, records it in month-to-month time frames instead of years. Therefore, when I would look for the Country Risk, I realized that I had to find the average between the Country Risks between the month time frames that were documented. Other than this, there were little to no other questions I had when I collected the data.

Explain any challenges and/or successes you have experienced with this project.

Besides the challenges regarding the Country Risk, I ran into a few issues when it came to the lit review. I had trouble at first on how to do a lit review and was using information from the books that I have been reading as opposed to articles that I have found online. Once I corrected this, I was able to analyze articles that have been published to observe how others have run regressions, what models they have used, and what variables were included. The consistent success I have experienced with this project is the collecting of the data in a manner that excludes any bias and includes a large sample size with several different variables.

Describe what you have learned from the project.

Originally in my first blog, I stated that one of the most imperative things that I wanted to achieve was how to collect data, process it, and how to present it in a meaningful way. So far, I have successfully and efficiently learned how to collect data, process it, and am in the progression of presenting it. My Excel skills have improved tremendously as well. The next portion of the project will be running the regressions and analyzing the results. 

Reflect on the impact this project has had on you any future plan you may have related to this research.

Throughout the past ten weeks working with Professor Shostya, it has had a remarkable impact on me. I have been able to manage working with such in depth research at an intense level and it has only put me a path for future success. Although, I am cognizant that this research will get much harder. So far, I have improved my writing skills, my analytical skills, and my quantitative skills. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Professor Shostya, as she is my mentor and someone who has often seen potential in me. I am very grateful and fortunate to have been able to have this opportunity to work with such a talented Professor.

 

 

 

“In Many Courtrooms, Bad Interpreters Can Mean Justice Denied”

The first step of the scientific method is to find a topic of interest and formulate a question you want to answer. Having already found the topic we, Professor Merton and I, are going to be conducting the research for, I am reading material and gaining as much insight and knowledge of what information is already other there. Professor Merton showered me with packets of information and recently sent me an article that I thought was too good not to share. The title of the article is the title of today’s blog post, I highly recommend you look it up and read it. Right below the title of the article there is a picture of a sign posted at the door with court rules/reminders. The middle one says “interpreters are NOT provided in this court. You must provide your own.” The implication of this sign is huge because it is an accurate representation of many courts in this country and shows the lack of a significant resource and tool of important use to many.  The article then starts off by sharing a story of a courtroom proceeding in Chesterfield, Virginia where an interpreter translated the world violation to “violacion”.  Meaning the man was no longer being accused of a traffic violation, but instead of rape.  This meant the crime went from being an infraction to a felony one and took the penalty from being a fee to possible life behind bars. When reading this article my initial assumptions were confirmed. The translation of a word carries vast weight in a court room, and this is being overlooked. This story is an example of many stories around the country. Like the article states these mistakes are common in state and local courts, due to the fact that many states and localities don’t use tested court interpreters and ignore federal rules. The article then goes on to talk about the problems that come with this such as people being unable to protect or enforce their legal rights due to language barrier and the reliance on an interpreter. The federal courts have a competitive test that certifies court interpreters stating they are qualified to translate in a court room. The state and local courts test isn’t as demanding, and don’t certify one’s ability to interpret, therefor allowing many uncertified interpreters to serve in a court room. The article reinforces the idea that the interpreters’ job is so crucial not just for the person that doesn’t speak English, but for the lawyer and judge to be able to efficiently complete their job as well.

When there aren’t any interpreters readily available, Judges ask of anyone in the court room or a family member of the defendants to interpret for them. This leaves the interpretation, to in some cases a stranger, someone who is not knowledgeable of the case, and someone who doesn’t have particular interest that the translation goes well or the benefits of the individuals in mind. In some cases interpreters who aren’t certified are just bi-lingual speakers, like the article says, this presents problems of its own because although these people speak the language doesn’t make their vocabulary extensive or mean that they are able to communicate in “technical legal language.” The certification measures someone’s language skills, vocabulary and ability to interpret at a good pace.

The article finishes off by stating the additional problems that this brings to the whole system. Reading this article solidified my passion and desire to complete the research for this study. A word, the translation and every aspect that goes into the interpretation in a court room can mark the difference of consequences to the life, liberty, and family and property interest of an individual. With 8 states currently not certifying interpreters our research is crucial and it must be done in a timely manner.

Beitsch, Rebecca. “In Many Courtrooms, Bad Interpreters Can Mean Justice Denied.” In Many Courtrooms, Bad Interpreters Can Mean Justice Denied. The Pew Charitable Trusts, 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

Blog 2: College Media Use of FOIA

At this point in mine and Professor Fink’s research, we have contacted and sent our survey to more than 60 students involved in college media at four-year coed public institutions across the United States. Our survey will next be sent to another 60 students involved in college media at four-year coed private or for-profit institutions.

The most common complication that we have run into at this time is getting a timely response. I have a theory that our participant success rate will be gradual due to the summer season as most student may not consistently check their organizations’ messages via email until the fall semester approaches.

Another complication that I have found is that the contact information for those involved in student media, such as school newspapers, is not readily available on their websites. This problem has given me insight to how important it is for readers to be able to contact media groups directly.

As a student and a journalist, this project has allowed me to contact students from all over the country that have similar interests and duties within their student media organizations. By observing the feedback from this research, I am able to gain an understanding about how other student journalists are reporting, what exactly they are looking for and reporting on, and how other media groups are organized on their campuses.

This project has allowed me to reflect on my own organization, The Pace Chronicle, and use the data to create more structure and change the way that our journalists report.

I plan to continue this research with Professor Fink until we have received as many survey responses as possible within a timely matter. We also plan on furthering our study by conducting follow-up interviews with those whom have participated in our study.

 

Blog Post 2

With the end of our summer research period wrapping up we are beginning to show results and determine their meaning and how they relate to our initial hypothesis. As a start, we began by analyzing thirty-four (34) US stock prices. We chose bellwether companies that ranged over multiple industries and verticals, and that preferably had longer histories. Initially using Excel formulas to calculate a Hurst exponent and the fractal dimension of one company’s stock, we determined that his process was very lengthy and time consuming, thus limiting our ability to calculate a larger pool of companies.

In order to use time more efficiently, Dr. Miller wrote a program in Just Basic which uses previously calculated log returns of individual company stock prices to calculate the Hurst Exponent for that company, and then calculate the fractal dimension. While this process has significantly shortened the amount of time spent on calculations and is more accurate than the estimated values computed in Excel, we believe there may be a more efficient process using R. Unfortunately, progress I have made in an attempt to program in R has hit a standstill due to a steep learning curve, but I am hoping that the issue will be resolved.

Using the data collected from Dr. Miller’s program, we have calculated the fractal dimensions of all 34 companies. We have found that all 34 companies have fractal dimensions ranging from 1.3841 to 1.4469. We had noticed that for the log returns, they are also normally distributed with similar centers but with smaller ranges (as shown in figure 1.1). This means that there is the potential to have a more accurate estimate of a stock’s return by analyzing the log return rather than the returns and their relation to the mean. An additional question we are left with after our initial research is whether or not R will allow us to calculate a Hurst exponent and fractal dimension more efficiently.

With these results Dr. Miller and I are continuing our research into the fall and winter. We will be using our findings for my senior economics research with the hopes of publishing for peer review. We hope to be able to answer the questions that have arisen from the initial results and answer any more that may come up with further analysis.

10-day returns vs 10-day log-returns
Figure 1.1 (10-day returns vs 10-day log-returns)

Rockefeller Trail Perceptions

This summer I have conducted fieldwork for our research project titled “Rockefeller Trail Perception,” which explores how and why park goers utilize the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. So far I have conducted 89 interviews over a period of eight days. Fieldwork has been a great experience, but not without it’s challenges. The weather has been hot and humid. The UN reported that this year is on “track to be the hottest-ever on record” (UN, 2016), which has likely limited park attendance and made for some sweaty days! Nonetheless, I have been able to meet my goals for interviews, which have revealed some educational and insightful perspectives.

Our project interviews have demonstrated a range of different reasons that people hike Rockefeller trails. Many of which are consistent with the literature on green space perception and use. People have been coming to the park for decades and spoke highly of its historical and environmental value. Often project participants spoke of how they value the Rockefeller legacy and the park’s connection to the Acadia National Park in Maine. One interesting reason park goers choose Rockefeller is because of the serenity and peacefulness of the area. In other words, the park provides a ritual-like experience that is hard to quantify. It is more than just a physical space. These perceptions support a growing literature that connects green spaces to mental well-being (Svendsen, Campbell & McMillen, 2016). Ideally this information will be valuable to the Rockefeller staff in their trail management strategies.

One question that my fieldwork has raised is around issues of environmental justice. In regards to parks, environmental justice often means equitable access to green spaces where everyone can enjoy the physical, social, and environmental benefits (like what our project participants expressed). Alternatively, environmental injustice means that not everyone has access to these valuable spaces. For me this raises the question of access. In other words, who has access to places like Rockefeller and why? This fall I intend to explore this issue further by querying who has access to such amenities.

I would like to thank Rockefeller’s Park Manager, Susan Antenen, for helping us with this project and Pace University’s Undergrad Research Program for helping support it.

 

Svendsen, E. S., Campbell, L. K., & McMillen, H. (2016). Stories, shrines, and symbols: Recognizing psycho-social-spiritual benefits of urban parks and natural areas. Journal of Ethnobiology.

United Nations News Centre. (2016, July 21). 2016 on pace to be hottest year ever as climate change trends reach ‘new climax’. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54520#.V69aVCMrLaY

Blog #2 – What Are the Collateral Consequences of Interaction With Law Enforcement?

Over the past few weeks, FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests were sent to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, New York State Police, Metropolitan Transit Authority Police, New York Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies, in an attempt to precisely quantify the number of persons being stopped, temporarily detained, and identified both on-foot and in motor vehicles over a five year period.  The purpose of this inquiry was to determine the percentage of individuals who were then arrested during these ID checks and traffic stops.  Being able to visualize the ratio of engagements to arrests paints a clearer picture of the appropriateness of law enforcement’s daily interaction with the general public than the mere arrest data itself, which is often used as a political talking point or for personnel management.

Although the agencies who were contacted with FOIA requests were relatively quick to respond, the responses themselves were substantively lacking or generally non-responsive to the most crucial data requested.  The MTA Police in particular, claimed to lack the ability to recall data on how many persons are stopped and ID checked on foot at train stations, a practice done via computer on a minute-to-minute basis every day.  Both the New York State Police and the Bureau of Justice Statistics claimed that they required more time to fulfill the requests for data as they constitute, “special circumstances.”

An extremely serendipitous breakthrough in our search for tangible data as it pertains to interaction-arrest ratios came this past week as the Department of Justice released the findings of its investigation into the conduct of the Baltimore Police Department.  The scope of the investigation included an interaction-arrest analysis ratio, along with a comprehensive report on the application of force as it pertains to arrests – a metric that we aimed to calculate locally from FOIA-obtained data.  Baltimore will serve as the cross-section for our analysis of the interaction-arrest model in the United States, and this will be supplemented by relevant examples of case law concerning the appropriateness of law enforcement conduct during engagements with the general public.  The paper will conclude with a recommendation for law enforcement agencies nationally based on an analysis of the DOJ Findings and all relevant case law.

Blog #2: A Visual Response to Assault

What I am reacting to:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra?utm_term=.avl68vZb35#.vwO6gDpzYe

2nd-blogFinalHaving seen multiple articles about this on social media, the Stanford sexual assault case was not unfamiliar. However, to read the victim’s letter about her traumatic experience strips all the news and legal discussion and leaves her own raw emotion. From beginning to end, the victim offers up her intimate details and painful retelling in complete honesty and vulnerability.

While there was so much raw personal information in this letter, what really caught my attention was the familiarity of it. As a woman, we are always told how to dress, go, and act in order to be safe in any setting. No dress is long enough, no laugh is modest enough and no night is carefree. Prior to this case, women are always told that this was their fault to some degree. In what other kind of legal case does the victim become the defendant almost every time?

 In the piece that I created, I used a quote that I feel held a great deal of power:

“It’s like if you were to read an article where a car was hit, and found dented, in a ditch. But maybe the car enjoyed being hit. Maybe the other car didn’t mean to hit it, just bump it up a little bit. Cars get in accidents all the time, people aren’t always paying attention, can we really say who’s at fault.”

If an object, like a car, is stolen or broken, the police check for finger prints and find those guilty. Why does there have to be so much doubt when it comes to a person? Especially in a case like this, even with witnesses and hospital records, the victim still goes through the pain, again and again. In my piece, I chose to show the car rather than people. To claim that on enjoys having their car hit is absurd and just tapping a bumper is not an excuse for an accident. These images and statements seem like common sense. However, replace those images and words with a victim and a predator, and notice how people blur the lines. This is the reason for the man reading his morning newspaper. The first story he’s reading is about a car crash. The next page, about a sexual assault victim. Both news worthy, but both handled very differently. Car’s get replaced, insurance covers damages and you move on. However, this victim, and other thousands and thousands of other sexual assault victims, can not call their insurance company and make it all go away. This is the reason why we, as society, and not only through the victims’ painful accounts, should be more vocal to de-stigmatize sexual assaults. We must focus on what is important. That is, rape is a sign of a society that has still not evolved. We may create the sophisticated technologies and make impressive scientific discoveries, but until rape is eliminated, we cannot call ourselves civilized. 

 

Escape From the List: Courage, Sacrifice, Survival (Blog #2)

“But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room.” –Miep Gies, author of Anne Frank Remembered and one of the helpers of the Secret Annex.

Miep Gies
Miep Gies

As I was continuing my research in this project it dawned on me that there were a few questions that I thought necessary to answer in order to captivate the distinctiveness of this story I was sharing. Those questions include:

Did the Holocaust have any legality?

What were the events that led to the Holocaust’s execution?

What was the role of faith in a time where so many had experienced suffering and loss?

In this blog as I answer these questions, most importantly, I share the base to my research project Elisabeth Rodrigues Lopes de la Peña’s story of survival.

 

LEGAL BACKGROUND

It took the Nazi regime and their accomplices four and a half years to commit one of the biggest atrocities the world has ever experienced. This all began with one treaty that was passed and a demonic man’s motivation to wipe out the Jewish race. The Treaty of Versailles was presented on May 7th, 1919 and held that the German nation had to accept complete responsibility of initiating World War 1; this article of the treaty was known as the War Guilt Clause. Germany would have to pay the war reparations and this would lead to a drastic economic decline. This section of the treaty infuriated the German nation and naturally, this treaty would give ammunition to the infamous Adolf Hitler to execute malicious acts. Hitler theorized that the Jews were responsible for Germany’s economic decline which included being blamed for the war and paying reparations. The Jews were allegedly responsible because essentially, socialists were blamed for a large amount of strife during the war on the home front, and with many socialist leaders within Germany being Jewish, that allowed the two to be coupled together as a incrimination for Germany’s defeat in WWI. Initially they experienced a large amount of success, however as the fighting went on they found themselves in a compromising strategic position. No better passage than from his own book, Mein, Kampf, better summarized his beliefs than this: “Today it is not princes and princes’ mistresses who haggle and bargain over state borders; it is the inexorable Jew who struggles for his domination over the nations. No nation can remove this hand from its throat except by the sword” (Hitler 651). Hitler believed that the Jews were robbing the nation. By giving the Jews the blame he created a scapegoat.

On January 30th, 1933 Adolf Hitler was appointed the German chancellor and the following years after that a period of darkness had begun. It all began with a couple of laws that in the years that followed that forbade Jews from everyday life activities.

Examples of Antisemitic Legislation

On January 20th, 1942 during the Wannsee Conference the German government discussed implementation of the Final Solution. This dark movement would transport millions of European Jews to their inevitable deaths. Specifically, Elly’s parents would be part of that faction of individuals who lost their lives strictly because of hate.

 

ELLY’S ESCAPE OFF THE LIST

Elly’s family, before the war struck Amsterdam, held great positions in their society and led prosperous lives. Naturally, as the Nazis occupied Holland this family would have to begin their rough journey of survival. Their journey all began with the help of a Dutch pharmacist who by the end of the war would have hid 37 Jewish individuals. A man named Bert Bochove. In gruesome conditions, Elly’s family hid in the attic above Bert’s store with another family. Elly had to stay for 11 months on a mattress 8 hours a day. They would have to stay perfectly still, silent, and would even have to slip bedpans underneath them to answer nature’s call.

One of the biggest fears of a family in hiding was the anxiety of being betrayed by their neighbors. If Jews were suspected the “address would get hot.”( Stewart) After 11 months of hiding the Rodrigues family had to leave in the dead of night, and so an ambulance picked them up. Reportedly, Nazis never checked ambulances because they hated disease. As Elly stood on the curb she took whiffs of the night air and got “high off the air”(qtd. Stewart). She had not breathed in fresh air in 11 months.

Unlike Otto who tried to keep the family together, Elly’s father like Solomon the King split the family in half. He had to decide whom he could give his children to. There is a saying that describes these heroes who went to immeasurable extents to help others who were in need. Yad Vasheem Memorial refers these helpers as righteous among the nations but Elly felt Margriet Boogaards who took her in and Margriet’s sister who took Elly’s brother in were the most righteous gentiles.

LIFE WITH MARGRIET

“Jesus was a Jew. If he were walking the streets of Amsterdam the Nazis would be looking for him too. I might not be able to save my Jesus, but I will save your Elly”” – Margriet Boogaards to Elly’s father.

The cover story was that Elly was Margriet’s niece, Elly van Tol. Elly was twelve years old when she began staying with Margriet. When Elly and her father had parted he told his children to do what they can to survive. Elly had to take a crash course in Christianity so she could continue her education and not give away her secret.

 

THE THREE MIRACLES

There were three miracles that happened when Elly was with Margriet. As Elly was in bible study in school restating the Hebew prophets she made a pronunciation mistake. Margriet was sent to the Deans office. “Your jig is up,” the Dean exclaimed. Margriet thought: “I’m doomed.” Miraculously however, the dean replied: “Your secret is safe with me.” Shockingly, the kids didn’t say anything to anyone. However Margriet and Elly decided to hide out in the countryside for 6 weeks. Margriet took a leave of absence. Elly had forged papers as Elly van Tol they were on a train out of town where officers were on the train. Elly grabbed Margriet’s hand and the officer looked at them and said, “OK” then went on his way; that was the second miracle.

The third miracle was when a American soldier parachuted out of his plane near Margriet’s house. The Nazis came looking for him, thought he was nearby, knocked on the door, and Elly opened the door. Margriet rushed to the door, told Elly to “Get away” and pushed Elly back. The Nazi asked, “do you know anything about an American paratrooper?” Margriet replied, “I don’t know anything. I am a woman alone, get away and don’t bother me again.” The Nazis then left.

Elly, with her time spent with Margriet, had experienced miracle after miracle. When the war ended and Elly became free she had found her faith in Christianity. Elly never let go of her Jewish roots. She felt however, that Christianity made sense to her. Her family had disagreed with her decision in following Christianity and did not want anything to do with her. Her own family turned away from her, including her aunts and uncles; everyone except Margriet. At this point of time there was no moral obligation for Margriet to take in Elly. But she found a love in Elly and felt as if she were her own. As Elly was approaching fourteen, Holland gave Elly to Margriet legally. Margriet wanted to adopt her but Margriet had no husband so she received Guardianship of Minor Child to Foster Mother. There was no adoption because there was not a nuclear family.

Photo Credit: Government of the Netherlands. (Courtesy of Carolyn Stewart)
Photo Credit: Government of the Netherlands. (Courtesy of Carolyn Stewart)

In the Holocaust families were torn apart and millions of people’s faith of seeing the end of the war dissipated as their prayers were not answered. Many were affected even after surviving the heinous acts of the Nazis. Darkness for many sheathed the only weapon that could restrain this movement from carrying on…resistance. Anne Frank once wrote, “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness”. Helpers such as Margriet or as I refer to them, resistance groups, although not always making an immediate change, created on impact to society. They were symbols of light and pure truth.

I have learned so much doing this project. It has made me realize the importance of the Holocaust and how important it is to remember this atrocity. I believe the best way I could showcase what I really believe to be true is this quote: “It would seem that the implications of the Holocaust have been forgotten or ignored as the living memories have begun to fade away. Even as the last generation of survivors begins to draw its final breaths, humanity is committing similar atrocities as those seen in Nazi Germany before and during the Second World War” (Lewis). Therefore, let us not forget what cruelties have been perpetrated by hate such as the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the recent Orlando shooting directed towards the LBGT community. We remember by showcasing these extraordinary stories of the survivors