Power of Oppression and Genocide

One hundred million people and counting have been killed since just before World War II by one cause – genocide.

April is Genocide Awareness Month and Correena Spangler, who has been researching genocide since she was nine years old, thought that informing students of the facts of genocide and oppression would be important. She set up an event that takes part over days, providing students with the opportunity to learn more on the subject.

The main part of the event took place on first floor in Jescke and it was called the Tunnel of Oppression. The tunnel was a series of 10 rooms that had been transformed to highlight eight different genocides.

There were two rooms that did not feature one specific genocide. One room was a memorial room in honor of the 100 million people that have been killed since WWII. The second room was a reflection. Spangler says the reflection room was designed to provoke thoughts in people such as, “What would it be like if we were born in a different time or place, we could be the victims, or even the perpetrators?”

Spangler hoped that the community at USF would receive and respond to the information well. One student that did just that was sophomore Jaden Brockel.

“It was really impactful and it opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn’t know happened in history,” Brockel says.

He also said that the tunnel of oppression helped him appreciate the safety in the place that he lives and during this time period.

Many students and faculty members took part in the campus event. Spangler says that these people have described the event as being powerful and well done. She appreciated these comments considering that she has worked on this for over three years. She took a lot of pride in the work that she did saying she wouldn’t change a thing.

The event is now over, but April is still Genocide Awareness month and Spangler encourages students who missed the event to do their own research on the history of genocide and oppression and its effects.


Story by Cordell Wright