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Social justice advocate, now 90, speaks at PSU

Holocaust survivor and lifelong social justice advocate Hedy Epstein will speak at Pittsburg State University at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, in 103 Whitesitt Hall as part of PSU’s Women’s Studies Lecture series.

Hedy Epstein at protestHolocaust survivor and lifelong social justice advocate Hedy Epstein will speak at Pittsburg State University at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, in 103 Whitesitt Hall as part of PSU’s Women’s Studies Lecture series.

Now 90 years old, Epstein arrived in the U.S. in 1948. She had survived the Holocaust because she was one of nearly 10,000 Jewish children who English families took in the months before the beginning of war in September 1939. With war on the horizon, Epstein’s family managed to get her on one of the children’s transports bound for England. They were not able to escape themselves and ultimately perished in the concentration camps.

Just weeks after her arrival in the U.S., Epstein became involved with the civil rights movement and fair housing. Throughout her life she has advocated for civil and human rights, fair housing, abortion rights and has been a tireless anti-war voice.

Most recently, Epstein participated in protest actions in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of Michael Brown. Her arrest at the Ferguson protests coincided with her 90th birthday.

“It’s a matter of racism and injustice, and it’s not only in Ferguson,” Epstein said. “Racism is alive and well in the United States. The power structure looks at anyone who’s different as the other, as less worthy, and so you treat the other as someone who is less human and who needs to be controlled and who is not trusted.”

Epstein’s lecture is free and open to the public.

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