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Speak Up Storytelling Will Collaborate with Voices of Hope to Feature Stories of Survivors

The seventh ‘Speak Up Showcase’ will be held virtually on Oct. 17, featuring survivors and descendants of the Holocaust as well as the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides.

By Matthew Dicks

Speak Up Storytelling and Voices of Hope is excited to announce the seventh Speak Up Showcase on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 at 2 p.m. EST. The show will feature survivors and descendants of the Holocaust and the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides. The cast includes Linda Grosser, Bekir Hodzic, Coinsolee Nichimwe, Sally Rozenberg, Rachel Rosenblatt, and Hannah Zwiebel.

Storytellers will be telling true, personal stories that illustrate how the experiences of their descendants, as well as their own personal experiences with genocide, have shaped their lives.

Due to the pandemic, the show will be performed virtually via Zoom and is free to all.

You can click here to register for the show.

Speak Up Artistic Director, Matthew Dicks, who is a teacher at Wolcott Elementary School in West Hartford, will also be telling a story about his work with the cast, and Speak Up Executive Director, Elysha Dicks, also a West Hartford teacher, will be hosting the show.

“Our collaboration with Voices of Hope has been one of my favorite things since we began Speak Up,” Elysha Dicks said. “It has brought incredible people into my life and it has been an enormous honor to help them develop and share their stories. I have found that especially during recent years when there has been an increase in the visibility of antisemitism in this country, being able to shine light on these stories has felt like action against hatred. And this most recent exhibition, which also includes stories of the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, feels more important than ever as we’re reminded, through these firsthand accounts, that this is going on and is not just a news story we can switch off.”

Voices of Hope Executive Director Kathy Fishman, who has spearheaded the program since its inception, said, “Our Speak Up showcase is an important program for Voices of Hope. Thanks to the leadership and guidance of Matthew and Elysha Dicks, storytellers will begin the process of crafting their family’s story to be shared not only in our showcase, but eventually in schools and in the community. As descendants of survivors, they are the next generation who will use their voices to Speak Up and provide lessons for the future. We must all learn from each other and work together to educate and stop hate.”

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