Sophomore works to raise awareness for genocide

Elsie Morales

Sophomore Mirabelle Chernick has organized a team of fellow classmates to participate in the 10th annual Los Angeles Walk to End Genocide.

The three-mile walk will take place at La Brea Tar Pits on April 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This walk, sponsored by the Jewish World Watch (JWW) will help people who are suffering in Sudan and the Congo.

“I feel like we are ignorant toward these people,” Chernick said.

Other than the walk, visitors can participate by exploring the Global Village with booths teaching people about other JWW projects. They can visit the Advocacy Booth and “take action to fight genocide.” There are also activities for children, food, merchandise and live music.

Chernick has taken the initiative to become the captain of her own team by creating a team T-shirt and a fundraising page.

“The goal is to raise money and then they’re going to send the money to Africa,” Chernick said. “I’ve made a team and I’ve raised so far $230.”

Her team includes sophomores Maia Hito and Yareli Macedo. This is Macedo’s first year participating in the event.

“It makes me feel like I’m doing something good,” Macedo said. “Like I’m contributing to my community, even though it’s not.”

Chernick and Hito both attended a pancake breakfast as a kickoff for the walk, where they were taught sophomores how to fundraise.

Chernick became involved in this event due to her volunteer work with JWW. She volunteered during the summer to educate others about genocide.

“My job then was to educate so we went to summer camps and taught middle schools about genocide,” Chernick said. “This organization goes by three rules: education, fundraising, and advocacy.”

I can’t just be in it for myself.

— Mirabelle Chernick

JWW, originally a group of synagogues, was founded in 2004 in Southern California and has since become a national alliance of involving schools, churches, individuals, communities, and partner organizations.

She goes to schools with JWW and teaches kids about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, such as rebel groups and children soldiers and helps out in their office.

“If I want to become a better person and make a better life for myself, I have to know that I’ve done something to help someone in the world,” Chernick said. “I can’t just be in it for myself.”