The Educators’ Institute for Human Rights was created when teachers Drew Beiter, from Buffalo, New York and Mark Gudgel, from Lincoln, Nebraska, began discussing their recent travels to Rwanda. They spoke of Rwanda’s natural beauty, the kindness of everyday Rwandans, and of their mutual respect and admiration for the nation. They also marveled at Rwanda’s remarkable recovery from the ashes of genocide to being one of the world’s strongest developing democracies. Soon thereafter, they decided that they both wished to contribute more to the “The Land of a Thousand Hills.”
In a nation less than twenty years removed from an unthinkable horror that claimed the lives of one million human beings in a mere one hundred days, Educators’ Institute for Human Rights hopes to engage Rwandan teachers about their history. Specifically, the Institute seeks to explore how Rwandan teachers can contribute to healing Rwanda’s wounds so that genocide will be prevented from ever happening again. Getting support from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the New York State United Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, the idea set in motion an organization designed to serve teachers from around the world.
Mission And Vision Statements:
To provide professional development and support for educators on the Holocaust by partnering with teachers and local organizations in nations impacted by genocide and mass atrocities.
Educators and their students worldwide will better understand the Holocaust and apply its lessons to their lives and the world today in order to create a more tolerant, educated, and peaceful future.
Hopes For The Future:
To further our mission of providing teachers from around the world with professional development opportunities around Human Rights-related issues, this year the Institute is planning a similar conference in Rwanda in 2012 similar to one described above.
The Institute is also growing and developing partnerships internationally so that we can host conferences in Rwanda, Argentina, Armenia, Cambodia, Poland, Bosnia, Botswana, the USA, and others . Our staff and conference coordinator will travel to two of these locations to lay the groundwork for two additional teacher conferences the following year. We also plan to provide opportunities in the United States for teachers and students alike to hear human rights experts, historians, and advocates and to take part in hands-on activities, discussions, and field trips--all to inspire their students to have a positive impact on the world: