Ambassador Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, will visit USC Shoah Foundation and participate in a public discussion/Q&A on Monday, February 8. The discussion is open to all and will be held in USC Leavey Library room 17, 11 a.m. to noon.
The discussion will be hosted by Stephen Smith, USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education. Smith and Bokova will discuss new initiatives to use testimony-based educational resources to speak out against hatred and intolerance that turns into violence.
As Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Bokova leads the charge to use education to counter violent racism and anti-Semitism. She is also chiefly concerned with global gender inequality, worldwide access to quality education, and stopping the illicit sale of cultural artifacts to fund terrorism. Before leading UNESCO, Ambassador Bokova was an elected Bulgarian official, served as the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and was Bulgaria’s Ambassador to France, to Monaco and to UNESCO.
A leading champion in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, Bokova has spearheaded UNESCO’s activities on Holocaust remembrance and awareness and is the first Director-General of the Organization to appoint a Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.
Smith was named UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education in 2013. The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program links global universities and research institutions to work together to address pressing contemporary problems. The program involves over 700 institutions in 126 countries.