Elie Wiesel Foundation stands against Uyghur persecution, grants support activism. Interfaith fellowship fosters unity and fights prejudice.

14 July 2023

The Elie Wiesel Foundation, named in honor of Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate Elie Wiesel, has allocated grants totaling £420,000 to support organizations championing the cause of the persecuted Uyghur Muslim minority in China. This philanthropic initiative aims to raise awareness about the ongoing Uyghur genocide, coordinate global responses, energize activism, and explore innovative ways to engage conscientious individuals. In addition to supporting Uyghur advocacy, the Foundation is fostering an interfaith fellowship between Black and Jewish college students, promoting unity and understanding amidst the challenges of racism and antisemitism.

Uyghur Advocacy and Awareness

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) are among the organizations receiving grants from the Elie Wiesel Foundation. These groups, along with Jewish World Watch (JWW), will host a Conference of Uyghur activists and allies in New York, seeking to mobilize international support, galvanize activism, and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders. By shedding light on the grave human rights abuses and mass internment of Uyghur Muslims in China, this event aims to rally global action against the atrocities being committed.

Ana Care’s Cultural Preservation Efforts

Ana Care, another recipient of the Foundation’s grant, is dedicated to preserving the Uyghur people’s language, history, and culture. Through interactive programming for schools, communities, and Uyghur families in the diaspora, Ana Care aims to ensure that the rich heritage of the Uyghur community endures despite the oppressive conditions they face. By supporting Ana Care, the Elie Wiesel Foundation acknowledges the importance of safeguarding cultural identities and empowering communities impacted by persecution.

Natan Sharansky’s Perspective

Renowned Jewish human rights activist Natan Sharansky, a member of the grant selection panel, emphasizes the urgency and severity of the Uyghur persecution. Comparing the situation to concentration camps, Sharansky denounces the Chinese regime’s inhumane treatment of Uyghur Muslims, deeming it one of the most significant human rights violations of our time. He also expresses concern about the insufficient response from the international community and calls for a stronger collective effort to address this grave injustice.

The Fellowship Promoting Unity 

In addition to supporting Uyghur advocacy, the Elie Wiesel Foundation is fostering an interfaith fellowship between Black and Jewish college students. In collaboration with Gratz College and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), this one-year fellowship aims to connect the two groups by exploring landmarks of significance to each culture while building common experiences and fostering mutual support. By bringing together these communities affected by racism and antisemitism, the Foundation promotes understanding, empathy, and unity, while paving the way for future collaboration in combating prejudice.

The Elie Wiesel Foundation’s grants and initiatives exemplify the power of effective philanthropy in addressing pressing human rights concerns and fostering unity amidst prejudice. By supporting Uyghur advocacy organizations, the Foundation contributes to the international effort against the ongoing Uyghur genocide. Simultaneously, their interfaith fellowship program bridges the gap between Black and Jewish college students, strengthening solidarity and mutual support in the face of racism and antisemitism. Through the legacy of Elie Wiesel, the Foundation sends a clear message: we must stand together and invest in combating prejudice, regardless of our backgrounds, for a more inclusive and compassionate world.

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