Scottsdale Community College Hosts 7th Annual Genocide Awareness Week

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Scottsdale Community College will host the Seventh Genocide Awareness Week that takes place April 15-20. The goal of Genocide Awareness Week is to raise knowledge about and promote prevention of the mass killings of groups of people worldwide. Events from the past will be explored.

“It is a weeklong series of seminars, documentaries and workshops designed to raise awareness about the prevalent role genocide has played and continues to tragically play a part in our global lives,” GCC faculty member John Coughlin said in an email. He explained that organizers want to inform the public on the various genocides that have taken place in the world.

According to the Scottsdale Community College’s website: “Genocide Awareness Week is a series of lectures, exhibits and storytelling by distinguished survivors, scholars, politicians, activists, artists, humanitarians and members of law enforcement.”

On April 10 at 6 p.m., there will be a reception on SCC main campus called “From Hollywood to Nuremberg: Film Screening and Discussion.” A variety of colleges sponsor the screening and it will be hosted by Michael Mongeau, an Arizona State University graduate.

The website also listed the speakers for the week that have done research in that field.

The presentation topics include the Holocaust, the Turkey and Armenian Genocide, Hate Crimes in the United States, Cases of Women Missing in the Pacific Northwest, several talks with survivors, and many films that provide footage of some of the genocides throughout history.

Some students feel people do not always have background information on the genocides that have happened in the world. It’s important to shed light on these events from history, even though they can be horrible.

“Primarily, there are fairly consistent events that occur historically before a genocide occurs. Indeed, multiple organizations have categorized these into 10 stages that are predictable but not inevitable,” Prof. Coughlin explained. “Education is critical here. Understanding that each stage inevitably feeds into the next is paramount. This process typically starts with classification, by which certain groups (immigrants, minorities, the disabled and others) are set apart from the mainstream body politics. From there, classified groups are often marginalized, oppressed and legally distinct from the general society. These stages continue until, inevitably, these groups are removed which can include eradication and murder.”

The Seventh Genocide Awareness Week takes place April 15-20, 2019, at Scottsdale Community College. Events and displays are free of charge and open to the public.