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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Rwanda Genocide

USC uses the arts to spread genocide awareness. 

To commemorate and raise awareness of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, Alex Binaz-Harris co-composed a piano piece.

Although he does not have personal connections to this particular genocide, Harris said he is familiar with family members in trouble. His grandmother survived the Holocaust. He said this piece intends to convey that struggle.

In 1994, the Rwandan government divided the population into two groups, Hutus and Tutsies. Individuals were relegated into one of these two groups based on their physical appearance. The government labeled the Hutus as the superior people and demanded that the Tutsies be killed.

United Human Rights said about 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the span of 100 days during the genocide. On Monday night, students spread awareness in the University Church courtyard to show Rwanda's progress since the massacre.

Shoah Foundation intern Nora Snyder traveled to Rwanda last summer. She said the country has come a long way in the last 20 years.

Binaz-Harris hopes his piano piece reflects his belief in the importance and sanctity of all human life. 

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