The Zoryan Institute Delivers its High School Genocide Education Program in Arizona

18 Apr 2023

April 18, 2023, Arizona: The Zoryan Institute’s Promoting Equity, Tolerance and Reconciliation Through Genocide Education high school program has made its way to Arizona for of the 11th Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation Genocide Awareness Week hosted at Arizona State University (ASU).

This program provides secondary school students with a foundational understanding of numerous, complex, and often emotional issues related to crimes against humanity and genocide. After a successful year of teaching the program to nearly 600 high school students in classrooms across the GTA in Ontario, Canada, the Zoryan Institute was thrilled to be asked by Genocide Awareness Week organizers to expand this program to the United States, bringing it to three different Arizona based secondary schools.
The Zoryan Institute’s program, led by Academic Board Member, Dr. Jennifer Rich, offered over 80 Arizona students an interactive introduction to the concepts of human rights and genocide. The use of an excerpt from the animated film, Aurora’s Sunrise, based on Zoryan Institute’s 1984 interview with Armenian Genocide survivor, Aurora Mardiganian, provided students with a better understanding of the processes and experiences of genocide, and also fueled important conversations about the Armenian Genocide in particular. At the end of each session, Dr. Rich linked events in history to contemporary examples of persecution and genocide, including a brief overview of the ongoing Lachin Corridor blockade. She also left students with important questions about their own role in genocide prevention, and the responsibility of the global community and nation states to respond to instances of injustice, mass atrocity and genocide.

Dr. Jennifer Rich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. She serves as the Executive Director of Rowan’s Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, and the Director of the Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Education. Her research and teaching focus primarily on Holocaust education and memory. Jenny’s work can be found in popular presses, such as The Conversation, Hechinger Report, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Education Week, and The Washington Post, as well as in academic journals. Her books include Keepers of Memory: The Holocaust and Transgenerational Identity, and Politics, Education, and Social Problems: Complicated Classroom Conversations.

Education is central to the goal of preventing future occurrences of genocide and related forms of mass violence and atrocity crimes. The Zoryan Institute is committed to continue providing quality educational programming in universities and high schools, along with training and resources to better equip students and teachers across North America with a foundational understanding of human rights and genocide. This will be achieved through the growth of its Promoting Equity, Tolerance, Reconciliation and Awareness Through Genocide Education Program, its online database of educational resources, the newly established GSI Education Supplements, its GSI High School Essay Contest, and eventually through a comprehensive teacher’s training program.

In order to continue this important work, the Zoryan Institute needs your financial support.  To invest in the Zoryan Institute’s educational programming today, please donate by clicking here.

For more information on Genocide Awareness Week and to register for the in-person and online events, click the link here.