Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project


Who We Are

The MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project of the College of Education and Human Services offers teaching resources and educational programs dedicated to eradicating racism and prejudice in order to create a healthier, better educated, and more just society.

This project brings together MSU’s outstanding faculty, renowned teacher education program, and the cutting edge technology of the ADP Center to offer antiracist teacher training and professional development.

Our goal is to connect the local history, politics, and culture of New Jersey to global human rights education including historical subjects like the Holocaust and contemporary instances of injustice based on race, religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.

The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project is a collaborative endeavor between Montclair State University and the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education

Dr. Zoë Burkholder is the Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project and an Associate Professor of Educational Foundations. She is an historian of education whose expertise includes antiracist education and civil rights history. Dr. Burkholder is the author of Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900-1954 (Oxford University Press, 2011) as well as numerous scholarly articles and commentaries published in Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Journal of Social History, History of Education Quarterly, and Education Week. She may be contacted at burkholderz@montclair.edu.


The Education Project

Human Rights Education Internship | Public School Outreach and Classroom Visits | Upcoming Programs and EventsHolocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Resources for Teachers

Human Rights Education Internship

The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project hosts an annual undergraduate student internship in human rights education. This is a competitive internship—all applicants must apply and be accepted into the internship, and accepted interns will register for a 3-credit course in the Department of Educational Foundations.

Interns will work alongside human rights education professionals, conduct a research project on a topic of their choice, and develop and teach a human rights education lesson in a local public school.

The 2017-2018 MSU Human Rights Education Internship is funded through a generous grant from the Axelrod Family Award.

Now accepting applications from MSU undergraduate students for Spring 2019.

Now scheduling human rights education lessons, taught by interns, in local secondary schools for April 2018.

Interested in applying for the internship? 

Human Rights Education Interns:

  • Select a human rights topic to focus on for the semester - student choice!
  • Study the history, philosophy, and law of gloabl human rights
  • Conduct intensive academic research on selected topic
  • Create an original lesson plan for a secondary school audience
  • Visit a local middle or high school and teach the lesson plan
  • Revise and prepare the lesson plan for publication
  • Assist with human rights education programs, including attending special events such as conference and films at MSU
  • Gain professional experience designing and implementing human rights education

To apply for the MSU Human Rights Education Internship for Spring 2019:

  1. Email a letter of application explaining your interest in human rights education detailing the specific topic you would like to study to burkholderz@montclair.edu.
  2. Email an unofficial copy of all college transcript/s.
  3. One letter of recommendation, to be emailed by letter writer to burkholderz@montclair.edu.
  4. Applications are accepted between September 1, 2018 and November 5, 2018. Applying early is recommended.
  5. Interns must enroll in EDFD 449 Current Issues in American Education in Spring 2019, a 3 credit course wthat will meet Mondays 10:00 am - 11:30 am in the Spring 2019 semester.

For further information or to apply to the human rights education internship, please contact Dr. Zoë Burkholder, Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project, at burkholderz@montclair.edu  

Public School Outreach and Classroom Visits

MSU Human Rights Education Interns a

are available to present a lesson on human rights to a class or student group at a local public school.

Trained with MSU faculty in the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project, each intern will present a carefully crafted lesson on a human rights topic of his or her choice. 

Host class should provide a warm welcome to interns and offer at least one 45 minute period to present a lesson either during or after school.

This is a great opportunity to host a college student who is passionate about human rights! School visits will be scheduled for April 2018.

Spring 2018 human rights lessons (taught by MSU undergraduate interns) available on:

  • School to prison pipeline
  • LGBTQ curriculum
  • Armenian genocide
  • Anti-Semitism
  • LGBTQ studies
  • Food justice
  • Black civil rights

For more information or to schedule a visit by a human rights education intern, please contact Dr. Zoë Burkholder, Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project at burkholderz@montclair.edu

Upcoming Programs and Events

We All Belong Here: Immigration Policy & Its Impact on Urban Education.

Critical Urban Education Speaker Series

Opening Presentation by Make the Road New Jersey Youth Power Project; Main Discussion led by Dr. Ariana Mangual Figueroa. 

  • January 25th, 2018
  • 5:30 to 8:00pm in University Hall, Lecture Room 1060.

Ariana Mangual Figueroa, PhD, will spotlight the voices of undocumented students not often heard in educational discussions of equity and social justice. How does legal citizenship status shape the lives of children and adolescents? What are our responsibilities as teachers in public schools serving all students regardless of status? This talk will address these questions by providing ethnographic evidence of the ways in which citizenship status and educational practices affect the participation of children and families in schools. Mangual Figueroa will suggest ways in which educators play an important role in caring for students with uncertain legal status, and will call on educators to assume more responsibility in this area.

Opening Presentation by Make the Road New Jersey’s Youth Power Project

Free and open to the public, registration is required here:


The MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project is a proud sponsor of this event. 

New Jersey Black Lives Matter (BLM) Week of Action in Schools

  • February 5 – February 10, 2018

During this week, eduators are calling on all to help students think critically, listen across differences, and explore their role in creating a more just society. These principles are inclusive and aligned with creating an ethic of caring and justice that all schools strive to achieve. In the evenings, there will be events for our communities to gather, honor the themes of the day, and share knowledge, art, and company.

This week of action will be focused on engaging youth and our communities in discussions centered on the 13 guiding principles that extend Black Lives Matter into a movement.  Each day will explore 2-3 themes with lesson plans designed with love.

The MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project is proud to support the NJ BLM Week of Action in Schools. Stay tuned for updates. 

The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Public Schools

  • Thursday, March 15, 2018
  • 11:30am-12:45pm

Prof. Jonathan Zimmerman (University of Pennsylvania) will speak about teaching controversial subjects in American public schools.

Zimmerman will highlight an aspect of American politics that we know all too well: We are terrible at having informed, reasonable debates. We opt instead to hurl insults and accusations at one another or, worse, sit in silence and privately ridicule the other side. Wouldn’t an educational system that focuses on how to have such debates in civil and mutually respectful ways improve our public culture and help us overcome the political impasses that plague us today? To realize such a system, Zimmerman argues that we need to not only better prepare our educators for the teaching of hot-button issues, but also provide them the professional autonomy and legal protection to do so. And we need to know exactly what constitutes a controversy, which is itself a controversial issue. The existence of climate change, for instance, should not be subject to discussion in schools: scientists overwhelmingly agree that it exists. How we prioritize it against other needs, such as economic growth, however—that is worth a debate.

Join us for this exciting talk! Free and open to the MSU campus community and general public. Stay tuned for more information.

Teaching the Holocaust, Empowering Students: Featuring a Holocaust Survivor

Echoes and Reflections Program, presented by the Anti-Defamation League

Program for MSU students and local K-12 educators

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • 8:30am-2:30pm
  • ADP Center for Learning Technologies, Room 1143

This professional development program is designed to help e K-12 educators and student teachers design comprehensive, engaging, and meaningful lessons on the Holocaust and contemporary anti-Semitism. Participants will gain access to online teaching resources developed by the ADL and the Shoah Foundation.

This special workshop is designed for both current teachers and MSU interested MSU undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a career related to education or social justice.

Featuring a conversation with a Holocaust survivor.

Free and open to local educators and MSU students, advance registration is required and space is very limited. Professional development hours available for all educators and students.

Registration: http://bit.ly/2FzoTwE

Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Resources for Educators

The MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project is pleased to offer educational resources including books, films, and lesson plans. These materials are available in our ADP Center for Teacher Education and Learning Technology. The ADP Center is located on the ground floor of University Hall. Parking is available for a fee in the Red Hawk Deck on campus.

Please check out our full list of antiracist books and films.

Please check out our full list of MSU Human Rights Lesson Plans, developed by our human rights education interns.