Preventing genocide through education

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Heidi Berger, daughter of Holocaust survivor, is creating a new course focusing on genocide education

This spring marks a grim anniversary. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide which happened from April 7th to July 15th in 1994. 

Today’s guest on rabble radio wants us to remember how genocides happen in the hopes that this knowledge will prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future. Heidi Berger believes that genocide education needs to be taught in Canadian classrooms.

To address this need, she started an organization called The Foundation for Genocide Education. The Foundation is made up of representatives from the Jewish, Rwandan, Armenian and First Nations communities. They are working with the Quebec Education Ministry to create a first-of-its-kind comprehensive, universal guide to enable high school teachers to better incorporate genocide education into their curriculum. Supported by educational videos and teacher training workshops organized by the Quebec government, the project will be piloted in schools across the province beginning in September 2019, and in use in every Quebec high school by 2020.

With racism on the rise in Canada and worldwide, and with the knowledge that many high school students are graduating not knowing the meaning of genocide — including the Holocaust — The Foundation for Genocide Education is calling on governments across Canada to educate high school students on the history and consequences of intolerance. The goal is to educate the next generation of leaders on the dangers of intolerance and racism in order to prevent future atrocities.

Heidi Berger is founder of The Foundation for Genocide Education. She is also a film producer, Concordia University teacher, and daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She was talking to me about the course that the foundation is developing to teach genocide education in high schools beginning in Quebec in 2020.  Victoria Fenner, rabble's executive producer of podcasts spoke to Heidi Berger.

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