April is Genocide Awareness Month

April 2, 2014

Through a motion passed unanimously in 2013, the Toronto District School Board declared April as Genocide Awareness Month (full text below).

The Sara Corning Centre for Genocide Education is supportive of the TDSB’s continued efforts and its commitment to genocide education. With an exemplary curriculum on genocide — the Grade 11 Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity course — the TDSB stands out as the first school board in Canada to develop and implement a full-credit course fashioned on the genocide education model. We look forward to seeing more boards and  provinces adopt such courses. 

On the occasion of Genocide Awareness Month, the Corning Centre is organizing and participating in a variety of events aimed at students and at the public, in addition to several free classroom visits.

The Corning Centre, in partnership with the TDSB and Facing History and Ourselves, will be holding a half-day conference on Thursday, April 3, for students registered in the Grade 11 Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity course. It is titled “From Remembrance to Action Student Conference: Exploring Upstanders Facing Difficult History and their Importance in Today’s World”

At 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 10, the Corning Centre is co-sponsoring an event with Facing History, the Rwandan Survivor Foundation, Ryerson University’s Department of Politics and Public Relations, and the Zoryan Institute. The event is a free evening lecture with social psychologist Dr. James Waller, who will discuss themes from his critically acclaimed book Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass KillingClick here for more on this event.

On Sunday, April 27, the Corning Centre will be unveiling a display titled “Denial: The Last Stage of Genocide” during the Commemoration of the 99th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which is taking place at 2:30 PM at the Armenian Youth Centre of Toronto (50 Hallcrown Place).

We look forward to seeing you at our events! If you are a teacher or administrator and  are interested in booking a free classroom visit during Genocide Awareness Month or after, please contact us by clicking here.

Thank you for your continued support!

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The Toronto District School Board motion as it was presented in 2013:

Whereas, the values of mutual respect, understanding, and peaceful coexistence are strengthened through learning about past atrocities; and

Whereas, the month of April repeatedly marked the beginning of recent genocides such as those against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian Greeks in 1915, European Jews and Ukrainians in 1933, Cambodians in 1975, Bosnians in 1992, Tutsi Rwandans in 1994, and Darfuris in 2003; and

Whereas, April is observed as Genocide Awareness Month by a growing number of holocaust museums, academic institutions, advocacy groups, and legislatures; and

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board is a leader in genocide education, having developed in 2008 a Grade 11 history course entitled Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, which is now also offered in many school boards across Ontario;

Therefore, be it resolved that, every year, the month of April be proclaimed Genocide Awareness Month in the Board’s secondary schools. (Source)