Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.
aristides de sousa mendes, upstander, GAM, résistance, op-eds / Friday, August 5, 2016
Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in 1894, was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. He spent most of his life studying theology and dedicating himself to the church, traveling across Europe and Asia during his lifetime.
St Kolbe, résistance, GAM, op-eds / Friday, August 12, 2016
Poland’s new right-wing government wants to change the way children in that country learn about the Holocaust, casting Poles as only victims or heroes. In this new narration, the Polish people were always helping the weak, were good neighbors and cared about minorities.
education, poland, Kielce, Jedwabne, GAM, op-eds / Monday, August 15, 2016
Polski nowy, prawicowy rząd chce zmienić sposób nauczania polskich uczniów o Zagładzie Żydów, kreując Polaków na wyłącznie ofiary lub bohaterów. W tej nowej narracji Polacy zawsze pomagali słabszym, byli dobrymi sąsiadami i dbali o mniejszości.
poland, Eduction, blog, op-eds / Monday, August 15, 2016
Students and teachers can now download their video projects constructed in IWitness using the WeVideo editor and their word clouds built in the Information Quest activities. So here are three easy steps for students and teachers to download their work from IWitness!
backtoschoolwithIWitness, iwitness, education, op-eds / Tuesday, August 16, 2016
As you prepare your lessons plans for this year’s school year explore seven reasons why you should teach with testimony.
backtoschoolwithIWitness, iwitness, Teaching with Testimony, back to school, op-eds / Friday, August 26, 2016
As an educator who has used IWitness to teach various subjects, units and topics here are some tips to integrating testimony into any curriculum, including Science.
backtoschoolwithIWitness, Teaching with Testimony, iwitness, IWitness17, Science, op-eds / Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Much like testimony shows how regimes have constructed borders; testimony demonstrates how individuals can construct bridges to connect with people of different beliefs and identities.
testimony, Tolerance, Election 2016, op-eds / Monday, October 10, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
GAM, kristallnacht, iwitness, echoes and reflections, education. Holocaust, op-eds / Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The archive was taken in 56 countries, 21 of which were in Central and South American. Ana is just one of the 1,352 who chose Spanish as their language of choice, while another 560 chose to speak Portuguese.
op-eds / Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Several months ago in my former senior high school class, students were introduced to the ideas of illiberalism.  When discussing this issue, students are faced with how governments will apply laws and acts during times of crisis, as well as everyday life, that would limit or suspend civil liberties of any individual or group. 
GAM, #BeginsWithMe, testimony, teaching, education, visual history archive, op-eds / Friday, November 18, 2016
As educators, we are asked to help our students effectively process the outcome of our elections and the implications it may have in their communities. In doing so, we need to find ways to provide them a safe and supportive place to understand their changing roles.
#BeginsWithMe, #GivingTuesday, iwitness, education, 100 Days, op-eds / Monday, November 28, 2016
As fall meets winter, we find ourselves in the seasonal in-between – summer is gone and winter is not yet biting. Yet it is in the in-between that we find moments for appreciation with friends and family. We create these moments in the cycle of the seasons. I think about what it means to live in the in-between – in a place of ambiguity and uncertainty where we must negotiate both the successes and the struggles of daily life. Progress propels us forward, but sometimes it is a roller coaster rather than the smooth gradient we may wish for.
#BeginsWithMe, gratitude, #GivingTuesday, testimony, GAM, op-eds / Wednesday, November 23, 2016
For six months this spring and summer, I had the pleasure of leading a team of staff and volunteers facilitating the beta run of New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) from USC Shoah Foundation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. I watched people of all ages approach the giant monitor displaying an image of Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, first with trepidation, then curiosity, then, at last, affection. Here are a few things that I learned about technology and humanity from the project.
New Dimensions in Testimony, ndt, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, op-eds / Friday, December 2, 2016
On October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy struck my home: New York City, on a cloudy Thursday evening. Sandy had a massive impact on the city that never sleeps. The entire circulatory system, the subways, of the city were shut down, which made connecting with family and friends impossible.
#BeginsWithMe, testimony, student, op-eds / Wednesday, December 7, 2016
On Thursday, Oct. 27th, I witnessed history in the making. Nanjing Massacre survivor Xia Shuqin flew from Nanjing, China to Los Angeles to record a 3-D audiovisual testimony in Mandarin for USC Shoah Foundation’s New Dimensions in Testimony. For those of you who watched USC Shoah Foundation’s Instagram story that day, I was the intern behind the camera.
ndt, china, Mandarian, Madame Xia, usc, interns, GAM, op-eds / Monday, December 12, 2016
This morning, I stood at attention as our select chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner. Looking at the flag in the middle school auditorium, I paused a moment to feel gratitude for growing up in a country where I have the right to define and redefine myself. I grew up believing I could become whoever I wanted to be. The flag stood tall, as did I. Thank goodness, I thought, that I live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
iwitness video challenge, iwitness, education, past is present, op-eds / Thursday, December 22, 2016
As an educator you might be thinking how to get started with the IWitness Video Challenge. How do you encourage your students to make a difference? How do you incorporate video editing? Well, we have the answers to these questions from actual IWitness educators.
iwitness video challenge, iwitness, op-eds / Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Middle school can be complicated. As students, we are preparing to go into high school, making new friends, going to our first dances, and unfortunately for too many of us having to deal with constant bullying. While there are those who might be the perpetrators and victims, there are many of us who are the bystanders and it is our duty to stand up against any form of discrimination. I learned through Holocaust survivor testimony that there are many ways to stand up for others.
iwitness video challenge, iwvc, IWVC2017Series, op-eds / Thursday, February 9, 2017
As a teenager, it is hard to know how I can make a difference in the world. Fourteen-year-olds don’t drive, we don’t make a lot of money, and with school, homework and extracurricular activities, we don’t have a lot of time. When my teacher, Ms. Bengels, introduced me to a challenge that was not only about bettering the community, but also a way in which I could use my passion for documentary filmmaking, I leapt at the opportunity. The IWitness Video Challenge not only allowed me to pursue my passion but also encourage me to make a difference.
iwitness video challenge, iwvc, IWVC2017Series, op-eds / Thursday, February 16, 2017
My friends Allison (Ally) Vandal, Maya Montell and I worked with our fabulous teacher, Emily Bengels, to create a group called Poet’s Undercover Guild (PUG). With this “guild”, we drew inspiration from testimony found in USC Shoah Foundation’s educational platform, IWitness to create our winning video “A Community of Poetry.”
iwitness, iwitness video challenge, IWVC2017Series, op-eds / Thursday, February 23, 2017
During a recent Twitter chat, #IWitnessChat hosted by Discovery Education, teachers shared how they are integrating the IWitness Video Challenge into their classrooms. Explore their insights and tips to help encourage your students to participate in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge.
iwitness video challenge, iwitness, op-eds / Monday, March 13, 2017
Educators share how they teach with eyewitness testimony for April's Genocide Awareness Month.
iwitness, GAM, teaching, op-eds / Friday, March 31, 2017
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust April 23- 24, 2017.
GAM, holocaust, Rememberance, yom hashoah, iwitness, op-eds / Monday, April 10, 2017
Though USC Shoah Foundation specializes in maintaining thousands of recorded testimonies in its Visual History Archive, many of the Institute’s interviewees have also published memoirs and autobiographies.
op-eds / Thursday, October 19, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation spent seven months researching the identities of every child in the liberation photo of the children behind the barbed wire, and reunited four of them January 26, 2015, in Krakow.
liberation, op-eds / Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The IWitness Video Challenge is a 21st century skill builder - teaching students how to use digital tools such as video editors to craft multimedia essays. Most importantly, the challenge provides students the opportunity to positively enhance their digital citizenship as they network and collaborate with others to deal with real world problems.
iwitness, Digital Learning Day, Edtech, Digital Citizenship, Digital Resources, op-eds / Wednesday, January 31, 2018
“Most leading authorities and publications use ‘anti-Semitism.’ I prefer ‘antisemitism,’ the spelling used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. But this debate obscures the core issue: whether spelled anti-Semitism or antisemitism, we should retire the term entirely and begin calling it what it really is: Jew hatred.”
op-eds, opinion, antiSemitism / Tuesday, July 7, 2020
All university campuses are first and foremost places of learning. As such, I believe it is our duty to use this controversy as a teaching moment, for Jewish and non-Jewish students alike.
op-eds, opinion, antiSemitism / Thursday, September 3, 2020

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