Looking Back on 100 Days to Inspire Respect

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 5:00pm

As USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program comes to an end, take a look back at the impact and scope of this unique educational initiative.

Beginning January 20, coinciding with the United States’ presidential inauguration, IWitness published a new educational resource every day for the next 100 days (ending April 29). These resources were focused on weekly themes such as racism, xenophobia, empathy and civic responsibility. They included everything from Information Quests and other multimedia activities to info graphics offering tips for teaching with testimony.

The 100 resources covered all the genocides represented in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive: Holocaust, Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Cambodian Genocide, Nanjing Massacre, Guatemalan Genocide and Armenian Genocide. They also practiced a variety of skills, from text analysis and conversation skills to art and poetry, across a range of subject areas, including English Language Arts and Media and Digital Literacy.

Several activities taught students about racism and how to stand up against it. Other activities introduced students to the various ways genocide survivors resisted against their oppression and overcame difficult circumstances through grit, courage and resilience.

Another set of resources focused on refugees, including a Video Activity about Holocaust survivors who settled in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and a new Connections Video that included footage from the European refugee crisis in 2015.

The very first resource of the whole program, published on Day 1, turned out to be one of the most popular. In “My Story Matters: The Power of Story,” students write their own six-word stories inspired by testimony clips, urging tolerance and love over hate.

100 Days’ multimedia activities (completed on the IWitness website) were assigned to 3,666 students. In addition, educational resources that are printed and used with students offline were downloaded 1,100 times. Combined, this means an estimated 43,000 students participated in 100 Days resources and activities - and counting.

IWitness also marked a special achievement during the 100 days: with 1,365 new teacher accounts and 14,750 new student accounts registered during the 100 days, the IWitness community surpassed 100,000 total users.

Acting Director of Education Claudia Wiedeman praised the creativity and dedication of the team that has worked over the last several months to produce one of IWitness’s most ambitious educational initiatives yet.

“We now offer educators and students even more innovative resources for teaching and learning through the powerful voices in the testimonies – and for that, we are extremely proud,” Wiedeman said. “100 Days to Inspire Respect is part of USC Shoah Foundation’s continuing efforts to innovate in the use of testimony for teaching and learning across the curriculum, to engage all students around the globe and to demonstrate that through testimony, we can create positive change in the world.”