In 2005, the United Nations unanimously passed a resolution against genocide that not only embraced the idea of remembering the Holocaust but pledged to support the development of teaching about the Holocaust, condemn ethnic and religious violence and help prevent future acts of genocide. The idea is to take the Holocaust as an international lesson and use it to defuse global stresses and address on-going and future genocides. The mission, or common goal, is to work for a better future for humanity. This involves enlarging awareness. More conflicts are expected because of the constant pressure of economic crises, political upheaval, climate change, migration, the movements of refugees and way.
Queensborough Community College is similarly dedicated to this important mission of using the Holocaust to educate. Many of our students, coming from all over the world, know very little about the Holocaust or its implications for the future. The Kupferberg Holocaust Center provides resources and tools that can help with outreach, using remembrance and memory as a foundation. The aim of this project is to invest in and build more resources that can be utilized at Queensborough. Along with survivors who can give personal testimony as they visit classes, make presentations and interact with students, we hope to provide scholarship and an interdisciplinary perspective to help students understand the past and make connections to the world that they know. The goal is to embrace remembrance and go beyond it by involving students in the project of unlearning intolerance and committing to the idea of common shared responsibility as a tool for prevention.
This project consists of a combination of events aimed at faculty, students and staff, utilizing Queensborough faculty and inviting outside scholars and artists to participate. It will enrich and enhance humanities and liberal arts education at Queensborough, particularly in that it will provide more high-impact learning opportunities for students. There will be seminars, lectures, several courses developed and taught focused around special topics/themes that could be taught going forward, faculty development events so that more instructors and professors can implement teaching modules and teach the new Introduction to the Holocaust freshman writing course, a technology component for ongoing digital and narrative scholarly and creative work and a student conference and Open Mic creative event in May 2014 that will feature student writing, research, projects and performances. A publication of student work will be created as well.
The seminars and events will be public and publicized to draw in those who already attend events at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center: survivors, those who live in New York City and on Long Island, those who are interested in studying the Holocaust/genocide or the particular subject being presented, and those who want to support the Center. We are fortunate to have secured the support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which will be co-sponsoring an event focusing on the music of the Holocaust presented by Dr. Joseph Toltz, from Australia. We will also reach out to and extend special invitations to other colleges and universities. We will particularly target and try to engage students studying in the represented disciplines, students in clubs that relate to some of the topics and themes, students in the appropriate academies/majors and students studying in the special English 101, 224, and 225 sections that will be focusing on the study of themes relating to the Holocaust