Holocaust & Genocide Institute Receives $9,250 Grant

Benson
Bill Benson speaking about his work with the First Person program.

IPFW’s Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (IHGS) has been exceptionally successful in 2017, receiving $14,250 in donor and grant support.

In March 2017, we shared that the IHGS received a $5000 anonymous donation to cover the costs of holding a second Holocaust education symposium. See here for the full story.

IHGS more recently received a $9,250 grant from the Salon Foundation for three initiatives: creating an event with an invited speaker, building a website devoted to Holocaust education, and forming a team of students to will work with the IHGS to promote Holocaust and genocide education in northeast Indiana.

The funded lecture took place on September 7, when Bill Benson spoke at the Congregation Achduth Vesholom. Benson interviews Holocaust survivors to chronicle their life stories through the First Person program at the United States Memorial Museum. In Fort Wayne, he spoke with educators and other interested community members about his work.

Plans for the Holocaust education website are well underway. According to Institute Director Steve Carr (professor and interim chair, communication), “We plan to provide teachers with materials they can use in class, as well as materials that they can use for professional development in thinking about the larger issues behind teaching about the Holocaust and genocide.”

These materials may include lesson plans with videos, worksheets, discussion guides, and other resources to help teachers cover the subject effectively. The website will also help promote professional development opportunities for educators.

IHGS Education Outreach Coordinator Patricia Rodda explained how the website will allow educators to communicate with each other through online blogs, a discussion forum, and events hosted for area teachers.

The Holocaust education site will provide resources for middle and high school students about the history of the Holocaust and its impact on local communities. Students can also discover volunteer and other opportunities to support Holocaust education.

The third initiative—building a team of students to promote Holocaust education—is in its initial planning stages, but Arts & Sciences students are already involved. Bre Anne Briskey, a psychology and history double major and a Chapman Scholar, is partnering with the IHGS for the service portion of her Chapman award. She plans to help build and maintain the website among other projects.

According to Rodda, “we also plan on involving students as we gather and develop resources for educators and students and later, once the website is operational, in maintaining our online presence.”

Want to know how you can get involved? Contact Carr or Rodda for more information.

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