University Hosts Genocide Prevention Conference

Students sitting around table helping in human rights workshop.
Students help in human rights workshops

Scholars, lawyers, high school teachers, students and members of the public came to campus in July for a three-day Genocide Education and Prevention Project conference.

According to Religion professor and event organizer Kate Temoney, the collaborative project between Montclair State and George Mason University focuses on genocide education and prevention and providing resources to teachers. “Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the dangerous rhetoric and acts of violence that can culminate in human rights violations and genocide,” says Temoney. “Education and prevention are key to cultivating citizens who are resistant to violence. The conference explicitly connected genocide education and prevention – which is currently a novel endeavor.”

Scholars from Columbia University, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, George Mason University and Montclair State, among others, gave presentations on everything from “Teaching Atrocity Prevention” to “The Role of Corporations in Mass Atrocity.”

The conference was sponsored in part by the Montclair State’s Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Project. Students who are part of the project and participate in human rights education internships attended lectures by renowned genocide scholars in the morning and toured the United Nations headquarters in the afternoon, says project director and Educational Foundations Professor Zoe Burkholder.