January 15, 2020, Fresno, CA – The Genocide Education Project, in partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee, Fresno, and Fresno educator and
Holocaust education specialist, Hillary Levine, provided a day-long workshop for Fresno’s middle and high school social studies teachers.Fresno Unified’s Superintendent, Bob Nelson, and Stephen Ruiz, History/Social Sciences Manager welcomed teachers and emphasized the district’s commitment to provide professional development that helps teachers and students better understand Fresno’s diverse communities and the histories that brought them.
GenEd’s Education Director, Sara Cohan, presented foundational
education about the definition and stages of genocide, Armenian civilization and history, including the Armenian Genocide, the geopolitical, economic, and social context in which it was perpetrated, its role as the prototype for modern-era genocide, its consequences and the ongoing Turkish denial.
Aligned with California’s History-Social Science educational framework and Fresno’s Instructional Practice Guide protocols, the workshop introduced print, video, and web-based approaches to teaching about
genocide, with particular focus on the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, two seminal cases through which important parallels and universal lessons are learned.
Hillary Levine, educator and Holocaust specialist, introduced a variety of resources for teaching about the Holocaust, including oral histories of survivors and the educational project called “Violins of Hope,” a collection of violins, violas, and cellos rescued from the Holocaust and restored. Levine and Cohan also led an interactive session during which teachers prepared presentations utilizing the Ten Stages of Genocide.
Some feedback from Fresno teachers: “One of the best PLs (professional learning) I’ve attended in the last decade!” Heidi Wallace, 10th grade World History
“I really felt empowered to teach about the Armenian Genocide on a deeper and more thorough level after this workshop.” Tony Fiori, 10th grade World History, Sunnyside High School
“Best workshop FUSD has ever put on!” Heather Miller, 10th grade AP European History, Edison High
“There was a great combination of needed content knowledge, various resources and teaching ideas.” Robert Crock 10th grade World History, Edison High School
“Great workshop!!” Matt Gonzales, 10th grade World History, Roosevelt High School