Immigrants who have fled socialist countries are travelling to schools across the U.S. for free under a new program to teach students about the dangers of socialism.
The Dissident Project launched Monday with speakers set to “travel to high schools across the U.S. to speak to students about authoritarian socialism” at no cost to the schools, Dissident Project founder and Venezuelan-born economist Daniel Di Martino told the Daily Caller.
The speakers include activists from Venezuela, Cuba, Hong Kong and North Korea who have immigrated to the U.S. and are dedicated to speaking about how socialism has destroyed their countries.
Grace Jo, a speaker from North Korea, came to the U.S. after almost starving “to death as a child” under the country’s socialist regime. Two of her brothers and her father died from starvation, according to the Dissident Project’s website.
“All of us Dissident Project speakers came to America for freedom, and it is our duty to preserve that love for freedom among the youngest generation. That’s why we’re stepping up and doing our part so Americans never forget that this is an exceptional nation, that free enterprise and the rule of law made it great and that socialism can destroy it all like it did in our native countries,” Di Martino said.
— Dissident Project (@DissidentProj) June 3, 2022
The project was inspired by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ legislation recognizing a statewide “Victims of Communism Day” annually on Nov. 7 and requiring Florida schools to teach students about “the evils of communism.”
“Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” DeSantis said in a statement about the bill in May.
Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, students in Florida will be mandated to receive at least 45 minutes of instruction in their required U.S. Government class about the evils of communism. Potential topics to cover include “Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement,” according to the bill.
Di Martino began the Dissident Project “after learning about Florida’s new curriculum.”
“I thought we needed a unified platform where schools could find immigrants from socialist countries to speak there at no cost to them so we could reach every single American,” he said.
The Dissident Project will focus its efforts in speaking to school districts in Florida, given DeSantis’ legislation, but will also advertise the opportunity to teachers across the country, Di Martino concluded. Teachers who wish to host a speaker can do so for free by filling out a form.
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