USC Shoah Foundation Launches Armenian Genocide Education—Keep the Promise Teacher Fellowship Program

Wed, 02/08/2023 - 1:32pm

USC Shoah Foundation has announced a new fellowship for a U.S.-based secondary-level educator to produce testimony-based instructional resources about the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Genocide Education—Keep the Promise Teacher Fellowship will train an educator with content expertise in Armenian Genocide education to develop teaching material using the latest innovative technologies in IWitness, the Institute’s award-winning digital educational platform.

IWitness offers educators innovative, classroom-ready and standards-aligned course activities, lessons, and guides. Since its launch in 2012, the platform has offered a wide range of testimony-based resources to 13,500 schools around the world, reaching more than 2.5 million students in 91 countries.

In developing new instructional material, the fellow will draw on the Institute’s more than 600 Armenian Genocide testimonies from the Richard Hovannisian collection and the Armenian Film Foundation.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were deported or killed by the Ottomans between 1915 and 1923.

Lesly Culp, Interim Director of Education and Outreach, said the Armenian Genocide testimonies will resonate with students grappling with contemporary issues.

“The experiences of Armenian Genocide survivors are relevant to the current day,” Culp said. “Through engaging with them, K-12 students can discover universal parallels that exist across genocides and develop critical thinking skills and social-emotional aptitudes.”

The Armenian Education Program—Keep the Promise is a collaboration between USC Shoah Foundation and the makers of The Promise, a historical epic set during the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The film was instrumental in raising awareness about the Armenian Genocide on the road to securing recognition by the United States government in 2021.

The partnership provides professional development programming that includes material that integrates The Promise into IWitness activities and as part of the IWalk at the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument in Montebello, California.

One of the producers of The Promise, Dr. Eric Esrailian, said the new fellowship will help bring in new users and learners within and outside of the Armenian community to engage with the story of Armenian identity, culture and survival.

“The collaboration between USC Shoah Foundation and The Promise is monumental in providing outstanding testimony-based resources and strategies to educators on the value of teaching film with testimony to further knowledge and understanding of the Armenian Genocide and how to effectively use primary and secondary sources in the classroom.”

The fellowship requires a series of knowledge transfer sessions to learn about IWitness and other Institute resources and an independent research period that will culminate with the production of four digital activities for 6-12 grade students.

The deadline to apply is midnight on Feb. 16.

For more information and to apply go to  Armenian Genocide Education | IWitness (