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Peter Balakian, expert on Armenian genocide, leads Genocide Awareness Week schedule

March 29, 2010

Jennifer Russo
(315) 443-4751

The Syracuse University School of Education’s Regional Holocaust and Genocide Education Initiative has teamed up with STAND, the SU student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, to facilitate a series of events in recognition of Genocide Awareness Week, April 12-16. All events will be held on the SU Campus and are free and open to the public. The lectures, film screenings and discussions during the week are designed to heighten awareness and promote recognition of genocides that have taken place worldwide throughout the 20th century and continuing today.

A lecture by Peter Balakian will kick off the week’s events. He will present “The Armenian Genocide and Modernity,” on Monday, April 12, at 4 p.m. in the Winnick Hillel Center. Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the English department and director of creative writing at Colgate University. His book “The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response” (HarperCollins, 2003) was winner of the Raphael Lemkin Prize, a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Times and national best seller. 

Continuing the series of events to evoke the message of genocide awareness are:

  • a screening of the film “Shake Hands with the Devil,” about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, April 12 at 6 p.m. in Room 207 of the Hall of Languages;
  • a screening of “Invisible Children, The Legacy Tour,” April 13 at 8 p.m. in Grant Auditorium);
  • a presentation from motivational speaker/poet/rapper Omekongo Dibinga, who will speak about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, April 14 at 5 p.m. in the Life Sciences Auditorium; and
  • an awareness reception hosted by STAND, the African Student Union (ASU), Student African American Society (SAS), Syracuse Real College Radio and UNICEF, April 16 at 3 p.m. in the Jabberwocky Café in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center.

“While we will pause on April 11 (Yom HaShoah, or “Holocaust Remembrance Day”) to remember the Holocaust,” says Professor Emeritus Alan Goldberg, director of the Regional Holocaust and Genocide Education Initiative, “we must also remember that the genocides in Armenia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Darfur also have their days of remembrance in April—a tragic testament to our inexcusable failure to stop genocide and mass atrocities. Our hope is that the events during this week create awareness within our community of the ongoing atrocities and the ways we as a community can become active in standing against them.”

For more information about Genocide Awareness week events, visit the School of Education website, http://soe.syr.edu.

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