Myra Dahgaypaw, is a member of the Karen (ke-REN) ethnic group, one of many groups in Burma (also known as Myanmar) who have suffered at the hands of the Burmese military. Forced labor, sexual assault, torture, land confiscation, and injuries from unexploded land mines are some of the atrocities experienced by ethnic minorities in Burma. In 1995, Myra fled for her life with just the clothes on her back. Now settled safely in the United States she feels a responsibility to advocate for the people of Burma who continue to face these human rights abuses. She directs the US Campaign for Burma (USCB), a partner of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), raising awareness about crimes committed by the Burmese military and working to bring an end to the military regime.
In the early hours of February 1, 2021, the day the new Parliament was set to take office, the military staged a coup, dropping all pretense of supporting democracy. A protest movement was met with military force. Citing the pandemic and baseless claims of election fraud, the military murdered more than 800 protesters and injured thousands more. USCB sprang into action helping protesters who feared for their lives reach safety. Myra dreams of and works to achieve “a peaceful country that finally has achieved a true democratic state where the power lies with the people, not the military, and also a country that finally realizes that inclusivity makes them stronger.”
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