32nd Tikkun Olam Award to World Without Genocide
About World Wihtout Genocide
In 2005, Dr. Ellen J. Kennedy spent two weeks in Rwanda. She met a young Rwandan woman, Alice Musabende. Alice was orphaned at age 14 during the Rwandan genocide, losing her grandparents, parents, 12-year-old sister, and 9-year-old and 2-year-old brothers. Alice’s experience affected Dr. Kennedy deeply, particularly because Alice is the same age as her own daughter. Dr. Kennedy shared her experience of visiting post-genocide Rwanda with one of her classes. Upon learning that in 1994 nearly a million people were slaughtered in a hundred days, one of Kennedy’s students asked, “What are we going to do about this?”
Using the model of the Genocide Intervention Network, founded by Mark Hanis, Kennedy began World Without Genocide with a dedicated and gifted group of students. Over the past six years our organization has focused on education through many different opportunities – classes, workshops, films, exhibits, conferences – and we have advocated successfully for city and state legislation. We address conflicts in the past, those occurring today, and the challenging problems of child soldiers, human trafficking, gender-based violence, weapons trafficking, and resource scarcity or abundance as causes of conflict.
World Without Genocide works to protect innocent people around the world; prevent genocide by combating racism and prejudice; advocate for the prosecution of perpetrators; and remember those whose lives and cultures have been destroyed by violence.
World Without Genocide envisions a future in which genocide and other mass atrocities, perpetrated against innocent people based solely on who they are, will disappear from the earth.
- We believe that people care deeply about each other.
- We believe that we must create opportunities for people to develop empathy for others and a social and political climate in which people will stand up to protect marginalized people everywhere.
- We empower educational, faith, and community leaders to make genocide prevention an important goal at the local, state, national, and international levels.
- We believe that we must end a culture that allows perpetrators of mass atrocities to act with impunity.
- We believe in the importance of preserving the stories of individuals and cultures whose survival has been at risk.
- Targeted Divestment. Targeted divestment from companies complicit with the Darfur genocide was initiated nationally four years ago. We implemented this campaign in Minnesota. The following Minnesota institutions have divested: the state of Minnesota (13th of 27 states to date); the cities of Minneapolis, Hopkins, Edina, Winona, Virginia, Red Wing, and St. Paul; the University of Minnesota; and the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Political Engagement. The Executive Director serves on Rep. Keith Ellison’s Foreign Affairs Roundtable, a quarterly meeting about global issues. World Without Genocide successfully advocated for a Genocide Awareness and Prevention Resolution that passed in the Minnesota legislature in 2011.
- 1-800-GENOCIDE. This toll-free hotline allows people to call their representatives and urge their support for anti-genocide legislation. World Without Genocide promotes this number at all events, in printed and promotional materials, and in media interviews.
- Student Chapters. World Without Genocide establishes chapters at high schools, colleges, and universities, including at William Mitchell College of Law.
- Internships. We engage young people through internships and special programs, to develop leaders who make human rights and justice for all a central objective in their lives.
- Speakers’ Bureau. We have experts who travel the region educating about genocide. We have spoken to tens of thousands of people in faith, educational, human rights, and civic communities.
- Fund-Raising. World Without Genocide has raised more than $125,000 for civilian protection programs in Darfur and Burma. Humanitarian aid agencies operate these programs.
- Educational Films. World Without Genocide, in partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (University of Minnesota) and Twin Cities Public Television, created a documentary, “Genocide Again: Darfur” in 2009. World Without Genocide and Twin Cities Public Television produced a second film, “Children of Genocide: Five Who Survived,” in 2010; it was nominated for a regional Emmy award.
- Media Opportunities. World Without Genocide and Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy hosted a 90-minute radio show. Kennedy is frequently featured on cable television shows, participates in many radio interviews, and has been highlighted in newspapers throughout the country.
- Plays “Upstanders” and “Upstanders: Ten Who Dared.” We have written two readers’ theatre plays featuring people who took a stand against genocide, including Oskar Schindler, Dith Pran, and Samantha Power. Translations are available in Spanish, Oromo, and Somali. The plays are available without royalty fees and are widely used in training programs, diversity education classes, and faith communities.
- Centers of Engagement – Taking a Stand against Genocide. This program promotes genocide education in communities and schools. The first Center of Engagement began as a pilot project in summer 2008 in St. Peter, MN with funding from the Minnesota Department of Education.
- Promotional Materials. World Without Genocide produces bookmarks, t-shirts, calendars, coffee mugs, magnets, and tote bags with inspirational messages and information. We also produce and sell educational DVDs. Proceeds help to fund internships and students’ conference attendance.
- Education Certificate. World Without Genocide offers certificates to those who attend programs, conferences, lectures, and events about genocides that include Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, and current crises.
- Continuing Education. World Without Genocide offers continuing education credits for teachers, lawyers, and other professionals, as appropriate, at workshops, lectures, and other events.
- Reading for a World Without Genocide. Our book club fosters education about genocide and generates support for anti-genocide advocacy. Members gather at William Mitchell College of Law for monthly discussions.
- Awards. World Without Genocide recognizes the work of students, programs, and community leaders through giving three annual awards.
Alice Musabende “Outstanding Citizen” Award
Genocide Awareness Essay Award
World Without Genocide Student Action Award
- Journey to Witness and Remember: The Holocaust and Genocide. This program features an annual trip to sites of the Holocaust and other genocides to learn about the past and to explore ongoing issues faced by individuals and communities affected by conflict.
- Outreach and Program Scope. We address historical conflicts, including Native Americans, the Herero, the Armenians, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Argentina, and East Timor. We address current crises in Burma, Darfur, Ivory Coast, North Korea, Guatemala, and Congo; gender-based violence; child soldiers; human trafficking; the global ‘responsibility to protect;’ and issues of justice, prevention, and prosecution.
To go to the World Without Genocide website, click http://worldwithoutgenocide.org/