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Big D Reads will kick things off on Friday, April 1 with a read-in event at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Community leaders will read selected passages from this year’s featured title Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. The read-in event takes place at the Museum in the “Anne Frank: A History for Today” exhibit from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Big D Reads is a community service project created to engage the Dallas community in a city-wide reading experience. This year’s chosen book is Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. Companion books have also been selected in order to engage all ages who are interested in participating in the event. These titles were chosen based on the similar themes found in the featured book: Dr. Suess’s Sneetches, Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, and Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts. These works are all available for checkout at the Dallas Public Library.

During the month of April 2016, Big D Reads will present and promote several special events inspired by The Diary of Young Girl. These events include educational events, read-ins and discussions that tie into this year’s book choice.

The Dallas Public Library and the Friends of the Dallas Public Library are organizing this year’s Big D Reads event in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District and the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

For more information on Big D Reads selected books and events, visit

#BigDReads #AnneFrank  |

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If you had the chance to ask Anne Frank a question, what would you ask? Would you want to know about her daily life in hiding or would you ask her what she plans to do after the war?

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl offers many insights into her personal thoughts and future goals. The young writer’s optimism and hope are found in the pages of her diary and continue to spark interest and concern about her life. The theatrical performance Conversations with Anne takes the famous diary as its inspiration and allows an audience to see Anne Frank come to life on stage.

In collaboration with the Anne Frank Center USA, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance presents four performances of Conversations with Anne, a 40-minute play. Combining the lovely prose of the diary with creativity and imagination, the Conversations with Anne performance features a single actor, Hannah Vaughn, in the role of Anne Frank. A Q&A session follows the monologue. The audience is invited to ask “Anne” questions about her life before the war and her experiences while in hiding.

Taking her cues from the pages of The Diary of a Young Girl, Vaughn will answer audience questions in character as the young writer. Vaughn is a New York-based actor and writer whose theatrical background includes stage and film roles in The Incredible Fox Sisters, Outfoxed, Clear Cold Place, and Ned Rifle.

Tickets include admission to the permanent exhibit and the special exhibit “Anne Frank: A History for Today” at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. The “Anne Frank: A History for Today” exhibit presents the life of Anne Frank alongside a parallel timeline of the events of the Holocaust.

Two performances will take place at the Museum on Friday, March 18 & on Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day. (Four performances total.) Please note: For the evening performances, if you'd like to view the exhibits you must do so before the 6:30 p.m. performance. All exhibits will close at the start of each evening performance.

Recommended for ages 9 and up. Purchase tickets at EventBrite. Visit our website for more information:

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The Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas provides legal and support services to legal immigrants and those already here in the United States seeking refugee status who have suffered human rights abuses. Many clients have fled religious, racial, or political persecution. The HRI also offers assistance to victims of human trafficking, domestic abuse and neglect through their Women and Children’s Program.

Attorney Elizabeth “Betsy” Healy was a co-founder and driving force behind the creation of the Human Rights Initiative in 1999.  She served as its Executive Director until 2005, and she continues to serve as an active board member of the Human Rights Initiative. Under Healy’s guidance hundreds of legal professionals have been trained to assist the HRI in its vital work.

Bill Holston, HRI’s current Executive Director, has a long history assisting those seeking religious and political asylum, including providing pro-bono assistance at HRI since its founding. In 2005, Holston was awarded HRI’s Angel of Freedom Award in honor of his commitment to providing free legal service to clients in need. Since 1987, Holston has provided pro bono legal representation to clients from 20 countries in Immigration Court. Holston has also written editorials on human rights issues for The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

HRI is dedicated to human rights work and continues to attract and recruit talented lawyers who are passionate about the HRI’s mission.  HRI’s clients are international and domestic survivors of human rights abuses. They may come from different backgrounds and situations, but all are forced to decide whether they should flee, with little set aside to begin a new life, or stay and face violence, imprisonment or death.

Healy and Holston’s work at HRI exemplifies the qualities of an Upstander. They do not stand by while others suffer human rights abuses.

The Upstander Speaker Series event will take place March 10 at 6:30 p.m at Communities Foundation of Texas, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane in Dallas. For more information and tickets, visit

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The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance proudly presents the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibit. The special exhibit, created by the Anne Frank House USA, consists of eleven free-standing panels that present the life of Anne Frank alongside a parallel timeline of the events of the Holocaust as well as diary entries from The Diary of a Young Girl.


The Diary of a Young Girl tells the story of the young Jewish girl kept in hiding during her formative years. The exhibit delves deeper into the details of the Holocaust surrounding the Frank family’s decision to go into hiding, the world events that took place while in captivity, and it goes beyond the diary to explain the events that occurred after their betrayal and deportation in August 1944.


The exhibit also features a replica of the bookcase that hid the entrance to the secret annex where Anne Frank and her family lived for two years. Guests are invited to enter the room via the bookcase door to read about her legacy and watch a short film on her life.


Dr. Charlotte Decoster, Assistant Director of Education at the Museum, visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam earlier this year and decided to bring the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibit to Dallas, Texas.


“I realized that for many people the connection [to the Holocaust] is Anne Frank. They’ve heard of her. Everybody knows who she is,” said Decoster. “[Her story is] a great tool to introduce people to other topics of the Holocaust.”


The murder of six million Jews is an incomprehensible horror. The extraordinary number of victims is overwhelming, but the innocence of one young female victim gives a face and an eloquent voice to the rest of those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.


“People want to see beauty,” said Decoster. “They want to see beyond the sadness, the horrors of the Holocaust, and I think what the story of Anne Frank does is it sees through the eyes of this young girl. It shows her hope, passion for life, and her emotions.”


Anne Frank’s beautifully written words show the promise of a young writer developing her craft. While her life and aspirations were tragically cut short, Anne lives on in the pages of her famous diary that explores the universal themes of human compassion and hope.