Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Humanities & Communication


Human Communication


Our history is filled with atrocities which have shaped the current structures of injustice we face today. The Japanese Internment, the Holocaust and the Indian Boarding Schools are just some examples which have poisoned communities with trauma. Since these past injustices have been presented through a patriotic lens the full scope of accountability has not been addressed. This lack of accountability has perpetuated structures of oppression and lead to scenarios in which marginalized communities could continue to be mistreated. History is repeating itself at the United States and Mexican boarder, as families and children are torn apart and put in facilities with hazardous overcrowding, sexual/physical abuse, and neglect of human necessities. Policies set forth in President Trump's administration have had a negative impact on these communities seeking refuge. For a Country that claims family values and justice for all, we are grossly undermining human dignity and the exact values we claim to posses. When communities are experiencing abuse it is the duty of all people to come forward in solidarity to expunge the structures which have created this mistreatment. Humanity is lost for all when some groups are subject to these wrongdoings. That humanity can only be retrieved through activism and advocacy, and fighting for the rights of our brethren who are under fire. Unfortunately the effects of trauma are presenting in ways that will permanently impact the future our communities. Psychologist and Neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda studied a group of thirty-two holocaust survivors and their children. She found correspondences of PTSD “inexplicable” by any other means than generational transmission (Rosner,7). These hormonal changes do not just impact the victim though, they affect their gene activity creating a basis for intergenerational inheritance. These implications express that mass genocides and detention of human beings reach far beyond environmental changes; it affects physiology. Injustices that create trauma today can permanently change the health of the entire population, leaving future generations with trauma they did not experience first-hand. Our historical knowledge needs to inform current policies and inspire our resistance in order to prevent the public health and human rights crisis of intergenerational trauma. Furthermore, our activism as a collective can serve as the framework for healing and liberation.

Included in

History Commons