Scottsdale Community College to host Genocide Awareness Week

A lineup of lectures, exhibits and events are on tap for the Fifth Annual Genocide Awareness Week: Not on our Watch April 17-22 at Scottsdale Community College.

Several presentations will happen daily starting at 9 a.m., as well as an evening lecture or event each day at 6:30 p.m., according to a press release.

Oskar Knoblauch, an active Holocaust survivors in Holocaust education, will share his story of survival and forgiveness from his experiences during one of the darkest times in our history, a release states.

Mr. Knoblauch’s talk is scheduled for opening day (April 17) at 10:30 a.m., following a presentation on Native American Genocide at 9 a.m. by Dr. Jaakko Puisto, a history professor with Scottsdale Community College.

“This year is very special because it’s our fifth annual Genocide Awareness Week and that’s a very significant milestone,” John Liffiton, professor and co-founder of Genocide Awareness Week at SCC, said in a release. “We learn something each year and keep improving to give those who attend an experience that will help them grow in their knowledge and understanding of genocide and how to prevent these atrocities.

“We say ‘never forget’ and ‘never again’ but we need to keep striving for that. Some people still have the idea that this happened 80 years ago only. That’s not the case. It continues to happen today.”

A new topic and focus added this year is the 1936 Olympics with lectures, a panel discussion and an exhibit that will be on display for the entire week.

Another exhibit, Genocides of the 20th Century, is on display in the Student Center Lobby.

The traveling exhibit delves deeply into the Armenian mass murders, which occurred in the early part of the century, the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany in the 1930s-40s, and the Rwandan genocide in the mid-1990s. It features photos, archives and historical context of each period.

The SCC display is the U.S. premiere of the exhibition. It opened at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris in 2015.

Throughout the week, topics to be covered by survivors, scholars, humanitarians and activists include The Armenian Genocide, Native American Genocide, Genocide in the Renaissance, Violence and State Repression in the Midst of Refugee Crises, and Genocide in the Age of Climate Change.

Also, the Theatre Department, under the direction of Randy Messersmith, will present the play “Kindertransport” at Two Waters Circle on Friday and Saturday evening.

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