Senator Tony Hwang Delivers the Keynote Address against Genocide and Hate at Model Congress Conference

February 10, 2020

Senator Tony Hwang Delivers the Keynote Address against Genocide and Hate at Model Congress Conference

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”   –George Santaya

State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) addressed students, faculty and advisors at the annual Winter Model Congress Conference hosted by Trumbull High School as their Keynote speaker on Feb. 1.  In conjunction with the conference’s focus, Senator Hwang delivered a powerful speech against Hate and Genocide.  

Senator Hwang emphasized that, although we are a country built by immigrants, the U.S. has not been immune to oppressing people based on race, religion, or philosophical differences.  Through engaging in civil debate, Senator Hwang believes that Model Congress enables students to embrace and understand differences, become independent thinkers, and in turn treat people from all backgrounds with respect.  

“It is too easy to fall into the trap of ‘Democrat versus Republican’ or ‘us versus them’.  When that limited perspective takes over, you have given up your right and power of independent thinking,” said Senator Hwang.  “Opportunities like Model Congress foster learning, interaction, and celebrate the freedoms, the liberties and the diversity we have in this country.  I hope you can translate your experience here into your personal and professional future. Model Congress and other similar programs are creating a generation of globally aware citizens who will never allow genocide or systemic discrimination to happen again”.  

Senator Hwang also spoke to his personal experience in the legislature.  “I am the first Asian-American to be elected to the Connecticut State Senate ” said Senator Hwang.  “I am grateful and appreciative that I represent a district that chose to recognize me for my goals, my accomplishments, and my vision for this state.”

This Model Congress conference comprised of students from throughout Fairfield County.  The students assume the roles of federal lawmakers and are assigned into committees and debate the chosen topics of the day.  Through this experience, students are provided the opportunity to engage with American government through assuming the role of legislators in order to develop a better understanding of civic involvement and government function.  Moreover, Model Congress enables high school participants to strengthen their public speaking skills.  

“Coming in Freshman year I didn’t have the same confidence I have today.  I felt intimidated in a group environment. I joined Model Congress my Freshman year and quickly gained a passion for the club.  I saw myself start to take steps to grow and develop to turn into the person I am today” said Evani Dalal Co-President of the Trumbull High School Model Congress club. 

“The practice students get here in Model Congress with a bipartisan environment is something students can learn and actively use in their lives” said Bruce Clarke a teacher at Darien High School.  “The students have learned from being involved in Model Congress that it is in fact possible to talk to each other and reach common ground”.