Downing Street acknowledgment for Hull Students

Small display in the History Centre Arcade; 27th January - 29th February 2012

As people gather throughout the UK to mark this year's Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday, 26th January, a group of History Undergraduates from the University of Hull are ensuring younger audiences understand why we need to learn the lessons of past genocides.

Four History Undergraduates from the Department of History at the University of Hull have mounted a special exhibit on genocide - entitled 'Speak Up, Speak Out'. The display includes their own insights into human rights violations from concentration camps of the Boer War, to genocides taking place during their own lifetimes, and builds upon the theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day to 'Speak out, Speak up!'.

With the support of Dr Nicholas Evans at the University's Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation and staff from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust the four students have met regularly to provide a display that resonates with their peers.

Dr Evans said: "The City of Hull is often associated with campaigns to eradicate social injustice and racial discrimination. It is inspiring that some of our undergraduates engaged with the theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day in such a positive way. It is vital that young people stand up against campus-based prejudice and human rights violations that blight the lives of millions of people around the world today."

Second Year History Undergraduate James Selway, who has organised the group, was so concerned about contemporary genocide that he wrote to 10 Downing Street urging Prime Minister David Cameron to speak out about genocide. His response arrived shortly before Christmas.

Mr Selway added: 'History has often been described as cyclical and where genocide is concerned this means atrocity following atrocity. If we ever want to break such a cycle then it is imperative we intervene and learn from the past if as a people we are ever to progress. It has been great to be given an opportunity to do exactly this, and with the combined support from Downing Street, hopefully society will know that someone has stood up and spoken out'.

The exhibition will be displayed in the entrance of Hull's Guildhall on the evening of the 26th January when members of the public are invited to hear 83 year old Auschwitz survivor Eugene Black speak about the impact that the Holocaust had upon his life. Afterwards the display will be exhibited at the Hull History Centre until the end of February.

The Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor Colin Inglis who is attending the commemoration, said, "It is vital that we honour those affected by the Holocaust or who have survived genocide or persecution across the world. By listening to people's experiences we can learn from them and help to create a safer, better future. I am privileged to be attending this important community event."