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  • Writer's pictureInternational Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

The Zoryan Institute and Arizona State University Join Forces at the 2023 Genocide Awareness Week

Promoting Equity, Tolerance and Reconciliation

April 5th, 2023 - The Zoryan Institute is very pleased to announce its participation in Genocide Awareness Week 2023 hosted at Arizona State University (ASU), taking place from April 17-21, 2023.

The 11th Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation Genocide Awareness Week (GAW) is the largest event in the United States dedicated to genocide education and awareness. This impactful event brings together a diverse group of individuals and organizations, including genocide survivors, scholars, students, politicians, activists, artists, community members, educational institutions, and humanitarians, to engage in lectures, exhibits, film screenings and storytelling to explore how our global society can confront violent actions and ongoing threats of genocide.

Prof. Timothy Langille, a Professor of Arizona State University and a graduate of the Zoryan Institute's Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP), and Prof. Alex Alvarez, Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University and the Deputy Chair of the Zoryan Institute Academic Board of Directors, both served as members of the central organizing committee of the 2023 GAW. They had this to say about Zoryan Institute’s involvement in this year’s week-long event:

"With a focus on the Armenian and Assyrian genocides, Genocide Awareness Week (GAW) at Arizona State University (ASU) is excited to be partnering with the Zoryan Institute. Our theme for this year is Genocides, Refugees, and Diaspora...As a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Zoryan Institute’s Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP), this partnership Genocide Awareness Week and the Zoryan Institute is very important to me, both personally and professionally. The Zoryan Institute’s GHRUP was formative in my thinking and approaches to genocide, which are reflected in this year’s conference. " - Dr. Timothy Langille

“The Zoryan Institute and Genocide Awareness Week are two premier genocide education organizations dedicated to raising awareness and knowledge in pursuit of a safer and more just world free from genocide and related issues of intolerance, xenophobia, and prejudice. Bringing these two together can only enhance the ability of both organizations to reach a wider audience, and support each other in our common goals of genocide prevention through education and scholarship.” - Dr. Alex Alvarez

At this year’s event, the Zoryan Institute will be hosting a screening of the international award-winning, animated film, Aurora’s Sunrise, which was made possible by the academic contribution of the Zoryan Institute and based on its oral history archives. The screening will be offered to the attendees of GAW on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 1:00 PM GMT at the Mirabella Lifelong Learning Auditorium on ASU campus. The Zoryan Institute’s objective with this film to bring its oral history testimonies to life on the big screen, to relay the stories of Armenian Genocide survivors to younger generations, and to empower young women and girls to represent their communities in the face of great adversity and violence. Through a film that seamlessly blends footage from the Zoryan Institute’s original live interview of 1984 with Aurora and the brilliant animation of Bars Media and their German and Lithuanian co-producers, along with scenes from the 1919 silent film “Auction of Souls”, the very first film on genocide in Hollywood, the Aurora’s Sunrise allows audiences to experience and better understand life before, during, and after genocide. Opening the film screening, the Deputy Executive Director of the Zoryan Institute, Megan Reid, will discuss the importance of conducting oral history research, the impact of the Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection, and the significance and use of the Aurora’s Sunrise film for educating future generations on genocide and human rights. Post-screening, Dr. Rouben Adalian, Academic Board Member of the Zoryan Institute and the interviewer of the Aurora Mardiganian interview with the Zoryan Institute, will be leading a discussion and Q&A session titled, The Inspiration Behind Aurora's Sunrise: A Q&A with Dr. Rouben Adalian. In this discussion, Dr. Adalian will be offering insight into the life of Aurora Mardiganian, his experience interviewing Aurora in 1984, and the significance in bringing Aurora’s remarkable story to life in this animated film. The Zoryan Institute’s Promoting Equity, Tolerance, Reconciliation, and Awareness Through Genocide Education Program will also be featured as part of Genocide Awareness Week, and will be presented to Arizona classrooms by Zoryan Institute Academic Board Member, Prof. Jennifer Rich. This program provides secondary school students at the grade 10-12 level with a foundational understanding of numerous, complex, and often emotional issues related to crimes against humanity and genocide. Each presentation will offer an interactive discussion, introducing human rights and genocide, and explore select case studies, using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach. By raising awareness about the multi-faceted impacts of genocide, and connecting them to students' own experiences and responsibilities as citizens, the Zoryan Institute intends to facilitate tolerance, intellectual dialogue, and respect for human rights and dignity. Speaking on the significance of this program and the impact we hope to have on Arizona classrooms, Prof. Jennifer Rich stated:

“Bringing Zoryan’s Promoting Equity, Tolerance, Reconciliation, and Awareness through Genocide Education program to several classrooms in Arizona is enormously exciting. It’s another opportunity to bring academic scholarship to high school students, and to engage young people in the critical work of genocide prevention.” - Dr. Jennifer Rich

Through Zoryan Institute’s involvement in the 2023 Genocide Awareness Week, it aims to make a meaningful contribution to the ongoing discussion on genocide awareness and prevention to scholars, students, and the wider Arizona community. Many of the events throughout the week will be available online by live stream, so for those of you who aren’t able to attend in person, we encourage you to visit to learn more about the programs being offered, and to register today!

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