Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month is held each April to honor the victims of genocide. This toolkit has background information, case studies, documentaries and video testimonies of survivors, and other resources to help students and teachers learn about genocide and what can be done to stop it from happening again.
Genocide: Any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:
- killing members of the group;
- causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
- United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
- What Constitutes Genocide
- Timeline of Major 20th and 21st Century Genocides
- Genocide Fact Sheet
- Glossary of Important Genocide Terms
Case Study Examples of Major 20th and 21st Century Genocides
- 1915 – 1923: Armenian Genocide
- 1933 – 1945: The Holocaust
- 1975 – 1980: Cambodia Genocide
- 1982 – 1983: Guatemala Genocide
- April 1994 – July 1994: Genocide Against the Tutsi
- 1992 – 1995: Bosnian Civil War (Srebrenica Genocide)
- 1980 – Present: Possible Genocide during Darfur Conflict
- August 2014: Possible Genocide Against the Yezidi
- June 2012 – Present: Possible Genocide Against the Rohingya (ongoing updates)
General Resources and Lesson Plans
- Article:Why April’s the Right Month for Genocide Awareness
- Lesson Plan and Worksheet: The Pyramid of Hate demonstrates that the hate of genocide is built upon the acceptance of behaviors described in the lower levels of the pyramid.
- Article:How do you define genocide?
- Article: Ethnic Cleansing vs. Genocide: The Politics Behind Labeling the Rohingya Crisis
- Lesson Plan: Confronting Genocide: Never Again? from the Choices Program at Brown University
- Suggested books and films on genocidefrom Orange County for Darfur
Videos and Multimedia
Documentary: The Last Survivor (22:39)
View the Website & Trailer
View the Study Guide
Synopsis:Following the lives of survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities – The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo – The Last Survivor presents a unique opportunity to learn from the lessons and mistakes of our past in order to have a lasting social impact on how we act collectively in the face of similar issues today.
Video: Stories of Surviving Genocide (5:10)
Synopsis:Four Chicago-area residents who have survived genocide in different parts of the world are subjects of the exhibit “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory” at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie.
Documentary: Worse Than War (1:54:00)
Synopsis:This PBS documentary follows Harvard University professor,Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, as he speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers, and journalists, all with the purpose of explaining and understanding the critical features of genocide and how to finally stop it.
Video: Elie Wiesel Dies at 87
Synopsis:Elie, Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and human rights activists, passed away at 87 on July 3, 2016. Wiesel, through his books and lectures, bore witness for the millions of Holocaust victims, dedicating his life to the acknowledgement and prevention of genocide. His words serve as a reminder of everyone’s responsibility to protect human rights and dignity.
I believe firmly and profoundly that anyone who listens to a witness, becomes a witness. So, those who hear us, those who read us, and those who learn something from us, they will continue to bear witness for us. -Elie Wiesel
Past STF Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month Activities:
- Genocide Awareness Surveys
- Yellow ribbons – Talk to your STF intern about purchasing
- Screen “The Last Survivor” in classrooms/assembly/activities period/etc. (See above for additional resources. Talk to your STF intern for a list of additional films.)
- Use above genocide case studies to do classroom presentations/assembly/activities period/etc.
- Genocide Memorial Service
- Table at lunch
- PA/all-school announcements (including Monday Morning Meetings, Town Hall, etc.)
- Guest speakers – Talk to your STF intern for suggestions.