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Monday, January 25, 2016
What started out as a curious journey across the hall at Leavey Library turned into one of Marina Kay’s most passionate endeavors at USC.Kay, currently a senior international relations major, was working on USC’s Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery team at Leavey Library in summer 2014 when she became curious about one particular office that she always passed by in the library – USC Shoah Foundation. She had always been interested in learning about the Holocaust, so one day she decided to go inside, and asked if she could intern or volunteer.
Friday, June 10, 2016
People who want to visit the places where the Holocaust happened have many options: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the Shoes on the Danube Memorial in Budapest, former ghettos, or the fields of Babi Yar, to name a few.But when it comes to the Armenian Genocide, former sites of the massacres and killings are so difficult to access most people have never been there or even seen them in pictures.That’s what photographer Bardig Kouyoumdjian attempted to change with his book Deir-Zor: On the trail of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Guatemalan hip-hop artist Rebeca Lane will perform at Bovard Auditorium Tuesday, Sept. 13, as part of an event hosted by Visions and Voices and co-sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation and El Centro Chicano. The event will be a part of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s conference, “A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala.” Lane is a feminist rapper who is breaking down boundaries in the Latin American hip-hop scene by challenging traditional gender norms and speaking out about Guatemalan’s violent past.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Just over halfway into her month-long residency at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, 2016-2017 Greenberg Research Fellow Katja Schatte has already surpassed her expectations about what she would discover in the Visual History Archive. Schatte sat down for a Facebook Live interview about her research and her fellowship at the Center. She will give a public lecture about her work on March 7 on the USC campus.
Friday, January 12, 2018
Davina Pardo is a determined woman. For two years, the Emmy award-winning filmmaker had reached out to USC Shoah Foundation and Conscience Display, asking again and again for access to create a documentary about the New Dimensions in Testimony program. A native Canadian residing in Brooklyn, Pardo was no stranger to grappling with memories of mass murder. She had previously spent time in Rwanda filming a documentary about the 1994 genocide.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
As a featured speaker at the 2014 Ambassadors for Humanity gala in Los Angeles, Michelle Sadrena Clark said that the USC Shoah Foundation had changed her life and her teaching. “We learned about that last year” is something a teacher never wants to hear her students say, but those are exactly the words Michelle Sadrena Clark heard from her students. What concerned her most was that they were talking about the Holocaust, as if it were just another history topic to cover once and then check off the list.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Liz Bommarito has been using IWitness in her English classes at Midwood High School in Brooklyn for the past two years. Her senior class is currently working on the IWitness Video Challenge, and this year each student has an extra incentive to win: The top five students, as voted by the class, will attend USC Shoah Foundation’s annual Ambassadors for Humanity Gala on Thursday.
Monday, March 17, 2014
After traveling to Rwanda on last summer’s problems Without Passports course, Rebecca Homan is one of the newest interns at the USC Shoah Foundation.
Monday, July 28, 2014
After a survivor gives his or her testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation, what happens next?If you’re like Kizito Kalima, you come back to the Shoah Foundation four years later to find out.Kalima survived hiding, attempted mass executions and the deaths of many family members as a child during the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide. He recorded his testimony in 2010 from his home in Indianapolis, where he lives with his wife and their two adopted daughters, who are also survivors of the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Brooke Horn inspires her students to think about how they can change the world. To do so, she drew on the first-ever IWitness Video Challenge, with award-winning results.Horn, a seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher at Coppell Middle School North in Texas, uses IWitness as a resource for her students to learn from survivors and apply lessons from testimony to current social topics.
Monday, March 14, 2016
In order to supplement her students’ reading of Anne Frank and other Holocaust diaries, Kayla Strickland turned to IWitness for the first time.Strickland, an English Language Arts teacher at Five Points School in Alabama, first heard about IWitness at a workshop led by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. She was excited to show her students the survivor testimony videos so they could have a personal connection to what they read about the Holocaust.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
At 88 years old, Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski still has a lot left to teach us.That’s why her granddaughter, film producer/director Leah Warshawski, has begun shooting a documentary called Big Sonia to share the tenacious octogenarian’s incredible life story with the next generation.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Jenna Leventhal was first introduced to the USC Shoah Foundation as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, working on a project for a public history course. Now, as manager of IWitness, she says her journey from student to Shoah Foundation education staff has come full circle.
Friday, September 5, 2014
After learning about IWitness for the first time, social studies teacher Jane C. Moore was inspired to begin using it in her class this year and she even introduced the program to an enthusiastic group of teachers at a professional development seminar this summer.Moore teaches sixth grade social studies at East Cobb Middle School in Marietta, Ga. Now in her 21st year of teaching, she said she loves when she finds “really interesting, practical, and relevant ways to teach, like using IWitness.”
Monday, March 30, 2015
Out of all the Armenian families in the small California town where Richard Hovannisian grew up, Hovannisian grew up in an English-speaking household and didn’t know much about his heritage or Armenian history. Today, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hovannisian is one of the leading experts on the Armenian Genocide who founded the Armenian Studies program at UCLA and is an adjunct professor at USC, where, for several years, he has advised USC Shoah Foundation on its Armenian Genocide testimony collection.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Growing up, Fred Wysoki knew both his parents were Holocaust survivors, but didn’t know much about their experience beyond that.“Subconsciously, I knew that [talking about it] was painful, and I honored that by not upsetting either one of them with prying questions,” he said.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
One of USC Shoah Foundation’s biggest champions in Michigan is educator Sean McBrady, whose passion for IWitness resulted in a workshop for teachers in his district last week.McBrady first learned about IWitness in 2008 when he co-taught 9th grade world history and geography with a colleague who introduced him to USC Shoah Foundation and its testimonies and educational resources. The response from their students was “powerful,” he said, and they were excited to see IWitness continue to grow over the years.
Friday, July 15, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation records the testimonies of genocide survivors so the world will never forget their stories. Eighth-grade student Andrea Chang decided to do something similar for her community: document the stories of the elderly. As part of the third-annual IWitness Video Challenge, Andrea created a video demonstrating her project, in which she spoke to the elderly and shared their stories. Her video, “Tell Me Your Story,” took third place in the national competition, landing her a $500 scholarship.
Friday, July 22, 2016
In February, eighth grade S. Canton Scholars Academy student Keven Kim came to realization: Compared to others, his life was quite comfortable and convenient. Though Keven appreciated his fortune, he decided to do something to help those who didn’t have the same advantages he did. “All around the world, there are those who live a relaxed life while others struggle to receive a single meal,” he said. “Seeing this struggle through my own eyes, I had decided to inform others of this desperate struggle and how to support those in need.”
Monday, November 21, 2016
Through IWitness, Justin Loeber helps inspire in his students a personal connection to the Holocaust as well as the knowledge that they have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around them.
Monday, February 13, 2017
High school English and Holocaust Literature teacher Heather Lewis first learned about “six word stories” at an educators’ conference years ago, but could never find a way to incorporate them into her curriculum – until she discovered USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Educators in the Detroit area are being exposed to IWitness in greater numbers than ever before with the help of Amy Bloom, Oakland Schools Intermediate School District’s Social Studies Education Consultant. Since 2015, Bloom has been involved with IWitness Detroit, USC Shoah Foundation’s initiative to widen student access to IWitness in the greater Detroit area through teacher training seminars – which range from one-day ITeach workshops to last summer’s three-day IWitness Summer Institute.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Davis Wamonhi’s own students at Kagarama Secondary School in Kigali, Rwanda, inspired him to use IWitness in his classroom.Wamonhi’s history students were invited to attend an IWitness pilot at Gisozi Genocide Memorial, where they were introduced to learning history through video testimonies through USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive educational website.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Lyndsay Fleming teaches sixth grade social studies at East Cobb Middle School in Marietta, Georgia.I first learned about IWitness from Jane Moore during a professional learning day. I was interested in using the website in my classroom because of the primary and secondary sources and interviews of Holocaust survivors. One of the major benefits of the website is the premade lesson and activities as well as being able to create your own. 
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Tenth grade world history teacher Joseph Christensen, from Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, is an avid user of IWitness after discovering it a year ago.Last year he attended a professional development program about teaching Holocaust in the classroom. One of the presenters showed the IWitness website and database and explained how he used it in his classroom. After searching through the website, Christensen decided to also give it a try.
Monday, May 16, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research will host the international conference “A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala,” at the University of Southern California, Sept. 11-14, 2016. The scholars profiled in this series were each selected to present their research at the conference. Washington University postdoctoral teaching fellow Rebecca Clouser will examine genocide denial in Guatemala and how it impedes the country’s development in her presentation at the conference.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Sarah Pitcher-Hoffman can count herself as part of an elite club: teachers whose students have placed in the IWitness Video Challenge not once, not twice, but three times. Pitcher-Hoffman’s student Shayna Kantor won third place in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge. Her student last year, Lanna Knoll, and three years ago, Ruby Merritt and Ayva Schiff, were all regional winners in the challenge.
Friday, February 3, 2017
On the seventh day of USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect education program, a series of tweets were posted by a teacher in Alabama, using the program hashtag #100Days4Respect. “There is enough sun for everyone,” one tweet read. Another said, “Don’t hate others even if they’re different.” Still another, “Someone’s race is not their character. Don’t hate, appreciate.”
Monday, January 23, 2017
For a historian, using a top-down approach is standard – you use government records, archives of primary and secondary sources to fulfill your research; you undress the documents and make sure they stand up, factually, and you stop there. But a bottom-up approach can provide a more complete image of an event, allowing those who lived through the time a voice in history.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Oriana Packer teaches college prep freshman English and honors junior language and composition at Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass. Her junior class completed the IWitness Video Challenge, which asks students to create videos showing how they were inspired by testimony to create positive change in their communities. What attracted you to IWitness? Why did you want to use it in your classroom?

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