Education Under Fire
Baha'i Club, Winter 2012
The Education Under Fire documentary is a brief look into the oppression of the higher education to Baha'i's (a religious minority in Iran)-- specifically by the Iranian government. Though specific to the stories of persecution in Iran, it echoes the fight for the right to universal education everywhere. The documentary released in October 2011 and a string of universities quickly held screenings and panels to spread the word. The screening held at the University of Washington included a panel of Political Science Professor, Jamie Mayerfeld, a representative of UW Amnesty International, and two students who experienced the abhorrent education system first hand. As a lead student organizer I helped organize many aspects of the expansive event mainly interviewing student leaders and faculty for the opening video and a social media campaign, Conspiracy to Educate. The video asked students and faculty about the meaning of the education that many of take for granted. Why are you here? where would you be without an education? what does it mean to your family? what does education mean to you? The video shows incredible insight into the unfortunately very commonly hidden motives of our fellow students.
Conspiracy to Educate is a picture campaign where "petitioners" are asked to take a picture with their name and title, along with the motto, "If education is a crime, I'm guilty as charged." This worldwide effor to connect and drive support for those in BiHE (Bahai's in Higher Education, an underground network of schools in Iran) is linked below. As a team we gathered around 100 peopel to show their support in this campaign as well as 200 to attend the screening at UW. This has been a huge accomplishment for me: I am neither a Baha'i nor a student whose education is in any eminent danger, but this injustice ring deeply with me. I hope that this even not only spread awareness of a danger to our right to universal education, but also of our obligation to not take education for granted and to know that a fight for it anywhere makes it even more precious.