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Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Program Awarded 2019 Axelrod Family Award

Posted in: College News and Events

group of interns as part of the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Project.

The MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project has just been awarded the 2019 Axelrod Family Award. This will include $5,000 to support programming for next year. Over 25 years ago, Honey and Maurice Axelrod established a fund to honor and support exemplary work in the field of Holocaust/genocide education and prejudice reduction. This is a cooperative award with the Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, and the Axelrod Family.

This is the second time the program received the Axelrod Family Award. Last time, the award was used to launch the Human Rights Education Internship in 2016, which has now hosted 36 undergraduate interns from a wide variety of majors and colleges at MSU. The interns developed lesson plans on human rights topics as varied as Holocaust denial, clean water, juvenile incarceration, school segregation, Black Lives Matter, and the Central American refugee crisis. These lessons have been presented in dozens of local public middle and high school across the state–reaching hundreds of young people and inspiring them to work toward a healthier, better educated, and more just society. The interns publish their lesson plans online, including an annotated bibliography, instructions for classroom use, and related materials like powerpoint slide shows and handouts. Those lesson plans may be accessed on our website and are free and available to all:

With this new grant, the MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project plans to expand a pilot program called Human Rights University for a Day. This program allows high school students to attend multiple human rights education workshops taught by MSU Human Rights Education interns. On April 30, this program was brought to more than 230 students in the Center for Social Justice at Montclair High School. Each high school student attended three different workshops, and the interns each taught 3 different groups of students. The program was adored by teachers, students, and interns alike, and Montclair High School has asked for them to return next year. Thanks to the Axelrod Award, more interns can join the program and significantly expand Human Rights University for a Day. In addition, this award will support ongoing programs such as Holocaust Education Workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and conferences on topics related to the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights.