Frequently Asked Questions (from the original site)

What is the Educators’ Institute for Human Rights (EIHR)?

The Educators’ Institute for Human Rights is an organization devoted to providing professional development for teachers and students around the world on the topics of the Holocaust, genocide prevention, and human rights—to which it holds conferences and workshops on the same. It was created in 2009 when two educators—Andrew Beiter, from Buffalo, New York, and Mark Gudgel, from Lincoln, Nebraska—were concluding their Teacher Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where they began discussing their recent travels to Rwanda. 


What were its initial efforts?

Recognizing the significance that teacher training had played in their own careers, the two in turn decided to organize a conference for Rwandan educators on how to teach about the Holocaust, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, genocide prevention, and human rights.  During the course of 2010 they cultivated sponsorships and donors to pay for the conference, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the American Federation of Teachers, and the New York State United Teachers, among others.

What were the particulars of the first three conferences?

Held from roughly 9:00AM-4:00PM from July 31st-August 1st, 2011 at the Kigali Memorial Centre, over 30 Rwandan teachers heard internationally known educators and speakers, as well as received books and materials on the Holocaust, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the power of teaching in healing the world. In the summer of 2012, a follow-up conference was held by the EIHR with members of the Rwandan Genocide Teachers' Association-- a group of Rwandan teachers who hopes to lead conferences on genocide prevention in their own schools, villages, and provinces.

What efforts were made to insure that the event was culturally sensitive?

To help insure the event was culturally and historically sensitive, Rwandan historians and educators led the sessions on the 1994 Genocide, with likeminded worldwide experts from the other organizations leading sessions on how to teach the history of the Holocaust. Recognizing the low income of Rwandan teachers, the EIHR provided travel stipends, lodging, and modest meals at no cost.  

What was the effect of the conference on its participants?

The conference had a significant effect on the Rwandan teachers who attended, leading in formation of the Rwandan Genocide Teachers Association by the participants themselves.  To quote one 2013 participant: “I now feel that I am a nation builder.”

Who is the Institute run by?  Do they have a Board of Directors?

While Gudgel and Beiter founded the Institute, they are currently assisted in running it by other trained Holocaust educators from around the country. Their efforts are overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of educational leaders from around the world. 

How is the organization funded?

The organization was initially funded with support from New York State United Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and by an advanced Fellowship grant from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  It is currently seeking additional supporters from likeminded organizations and private donations by individuals. 

What is their not-for-profit status? What would my donation help pay for?

The EIHR is an accredited federal 501(c)(3) not-for-profit incorporation. All contributions are tax deductible. Donations are gratefully accepted and are the lifeblood of the organization. Seeing that it costs roughly $20,000 to stage a similar event, the organization is actively seeking additional sponsors and friends.  Priding itself on having virtually zero overhead costs and servicing educators in the developing world, donations go toward funding the location cost, food, materials, lodging, and travel  for its teacher participants—as well as the basic costs of the organizers to stage the event. 

What are the organization’s plans for the future?

The organization is currently working with parties around the world to hold similar events for educators who work in societies that have experienced widespread human rights abuses.

How can I contact its organizers?

To reach the EIHR’s directors, please send an email to the following:

Mark Gudgel, President, mgudgel@lps.org

Drew Beiter, Vice President,  abeiter@springvillegi.org