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Genocide and its Aftermaths:
Lessons from Rwanda

A Series of Events to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda

April 16, 17, 19, 2014
University of Minnesota

Sponsorship made possible in part by the Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of The Minneapolis Foundation.


The Institute for Global Studies, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Human Rights Program are hosting three days of events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. The events included a public conference, a student conference, and a K-16 teacher workshop. The objectives of the commemorative events were: promoting public understanding of what happened in Rwanda, discussing the immediate responses of the international community to the violence, and analyzing the long-term consequences that the cataclysmic failure to prevent the genocide had on international policy and action.

The Public Conference, April 16th

Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

The public conference was designed to bring together research and praxis. Academics, activists and diplomats led a public exploration of what we have learned from the genocide in Rwanda and how we have been affected by, and should use, that knowledge to create more effective methods of intervention. Themes of the panels included: representations of atrocity, immediate aftermaths, transitional justice and its impacts, and preventing genocide and mass atrocity.

Opening Address

Taylor Krauss, founder of Voices of Rwanda


Panel 1: Rwanda 1994 and its Representations

Panel Chair: Dean Eric Schwartz; Panelists: Dean David Wippman, Jean-Damascène Gasanabo and Wahutu Siguru


Panel 2: Immediate Aftermaths: Justice, Redress and Memory

Panel Chair: Alejandro Baer; Panelists: Gregory Gordon, Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Chris Uggen, Daniel Wildeson and Nicole Fox


Panel 3: Long-term Implications: Impact, Prevention and Intervention

Panel Chair: Barbara Frey; Panelists: Leigh Payne, Marie Berry, Samuel Totten, Jean-Pierre Karageye


Keynote Address

Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

The Student Conference, April 17th

President's Room and Theater at Coffman Union

The student conference brought together undergraduate students throughout the world, from different disciplines, who are working on the genocide in Rwanda or other episodes of genocide and mass violence.

Kaela Nomia, an undergraduate student from Valparaiso University, presented her paper focusing on political cartoons on genocide in the western press.

Herbert B. Ferguson Augustus, an undergraduate student from the University of Minnesota, presented his work looking at normative threat through the genocide in Rwanda.

Students on Panel 2: Western Involvement and Representations of Genocide and Mass Atrocity, take questions from the audience.

The K-16 Educator Training, April 19th

1210 Heller Hall, West Bank

Visiting scholar Samuel Totten led an educator training on genocide education, discussing the genocide in Rwanda, along with other current atrocities and how they can be effectively taught in the classroom.

Training leader, Samuel Totten, discussed his work in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.

Educators worked in small groups, discussing genocide and how to best present it in their classrooms.

Educators compiled lists of atrocities they were familiar with from 1900 to today.

University of Minnesota Co-sponsors: Department of French & Italian; Program in Social Studies Education, Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction, CEHD; Department of Sociology; Department of History; Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; African American & African Studies; Institute for Diversity, Equity & Advocacy; Human Rights Center; Program in Human Rights & Health; Student Pre-Law Society; University of Minnesota Sociological Association; Human Rights Program Student Advisory Board; STAND; Humphrey for Human Rights; Humphrey International Student Association.

Other Co-sponsors: Center for Victims of Torture; Advocates for Human Rights; Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota & the Dakotas; St. Cloud State Center for Holocaust & Genocide Education; World Without Genocide; Global Solutions Minnesota; Minnesota International Center.