Genocide Education in High Schools


The Zoryan Institute developed and launched its Promoting Equity, Tolerance, Reconciliation and Awareness Through Genocide Education Program in the Spring of 2022. The program, initially funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education provides secondary school students at the grades 10 to 12 levels with a foundational understanding of the numerous, complex, and often emotional issues related to crimes against humanity and genocide. 

Each presentation delivered through this program opens with an interactive discussion introducing human rights and genocide, and explores select cases of genocide, such as the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the cultural genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, among others, using a comparative and multidisciplinary approach. The use of first-hand testimonies from those who experienced genocide during the program humanizes the impacts of genocide in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner and allows students to compare and understand commonalities in the processes and experiences of genocide, and better understand the universality of the phenomenon. By raising awareness about about the multifaceted impacts of genocide, including intergenerational trauma, cultural destruction, mass population displacements, etc., and connecting them to students’ own experiences and responsibilities as citizens, this presentation helps facilitate tolerance, intellectual dialogue, and respect for human rights and dignity. 

What students have had to say about the program:

What teachers have had to say about the program:

Are you an Ontario secondary school educator?

As part of this program the Zoryan Institute is offering a free teacher training workshop to Ontario secondary school teachers on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022, from 4:00-5:30PM EST. This 1.5 hour virtual workshop will provide teachers with the knowledge, tools and resources to teach high school students about issues related to human rights and genocide in a way that encourages dialogue and critical reflection, and allows students to understand their responsibilities as global citizens to protect human rights and prevent future genocides. It will be hosted in a Zoom meeting format, giving participants the ability to engage in discussion and ask questions about their current curriculum. The workshop will be led by Joyce Apsel, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Humanities in Liberal Studies at the College of Arts & Sciences at New York University, and President of the Institute for Study of Genocide. Professor Apsel is a specialist in pedagogy, and developed and leads the Zoryan Institute‚Äôs annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program.