(2nd L – R) Sara Birjandian, Kaila Johnston and Simon Robin, at I-GMAP Conference on April 8, 2022
American Sikh Council (ASC) representative Kavneet Singh attended the Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention (I-GMAP) Conference organized by Binghamton University at the downtown campus in Binghamton, NY from April 8 – 9, 2022.
This was the third time this conference was held and organized by the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention at Binghamton University. This year’s I-GMAP Conference had over 70 attendees with mostly professors and researchers while the rest were practitioners and activists.
This was a panel style step up with most panels consisting of three to four panelists and a moderator. Additionally, there were Q & A sessions as part of the overall event that were also very interesting and enlightening. The conference started early in the morning and ran late into the evening on both days. Some of panelists were activist practitioners with a legal and medical backgrounds who posed practical questions with suggestions based on their lived experience through the genocides happening currently. There were other panelists working on transactional justice from sexual violence to ethnic cleansing issues. Academics and activists representing several countries, which included; Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Columbia, Australia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the US.
Academics, researchers, practitioners and activists at a session at the I-GMAP Conference
There were a total of seven full panel sessions with each running ninety minutes. The discussions were invaluable with extremely good information for activists to learn and use in the field especially for those who are involved in education and advocacy.
ASC representative Kavneet Singh displayed the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984 – 1998’ brochures along with copies of the detailed book list of ‘Human Rights Violations against the Sikhs’ which were very well received by the attendees. www.thirdsikhgenocide.org . The networking with other researchers and activists always help build bridges and support to highlight each other’s suffering to the world at large.
Kavneet Singh with Elham Sana (scholar) & Frank Osei (researcher) at the Conference April 9, 2022
Mike R remarked, “I knew the Sikhs in Punjab were brutalized by the state apparatus but I was shocked and unaware that several hundred thousand Sikhs, mostly young men were tortured and made to disappear over a 15-year period.”
ASC representatives have held conferences on the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984 – 1998’ and plan to hold more in the near future. Thanks to the tremendous effort put in by tireless ASC volunteers the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984 – 1998’ is now part of the Holocaust and Other Genocides content being used in schools across the state of New Jersey.
In order to continue to sustain the ongoing work on this issue, ASC requests all the gurdwaras to generously support these very important educational initiatives in order to help our next generation so that they never forget and remember their history.
Frank O. stated, “No group of people or populations should have to suffer brutality or degrading treatment at the hands of the state or any actors. In order to fulfil the promise of “never again”, we need to redouble our efforts at preventing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and elicit accountability wherever they occur.”
The networking and the outcome of the I-GMAP Conference was a great success, thanks to the great planning and quality of panelists who were invited to this conference.
Some of the attendees during break networking with each other at the conference.