PLU Receives Grant From the United States Institute of Peace to Support Peacebuilding Education
Funds to support visit by Dr. Zachary D. Kaufman regarding post-genocide reconstruction and justice
Source Newsroom: Pacific Lutheran University
Newswise — Pacific Lutheran University has received a grant from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The support will enable PLU to host Dr. Zachary D. Kaufman, a Fellow at Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program and an expert on post-genocide reconstruction and justice in Rwanda, for an on-campus lecture Oct. 8, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Executive Director of PLU’s Wang Center for Global Education, Dr. Tamara Williams, said, “We are proud of our focus on global education and peace building at PLU. Additionally, we sincerely appreciate that the United States Institute of Peace supported our interest in bringing Zachary Kaufman to campus.”
Dr. Kaufman’s visit to PLU is organized by the Department of Political Science, the Wang Center for Global Education, and Holocaust Studies, and is supported by various departments and programs on campus. In addition to the lecture, Dr. Kaufman will participate in a variety of on-campus activities, including meeting with faculty and students interested in genocide studies and co-teaching a class on the challenges atrocities create for development activities.
“Dr. Kaufman’s work is unique in that it not only focuses on governmental reconstruction efforts, but also those led by ordinary members of society,” stated Dr. Ami V. Shah, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science. “Through his own efforts at reconstruction in Rwanda, he has seen the power of individuals working together to rebuild societies.”
Dr. Zachary D. Kaufman, is the co-editor of After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond and editor of Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities: Changing Our World. He is a recurring commentator on Voice of America, and his research and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice, The Criminal Law of Genocide, and other international publications. He is a Fellow at Yale Law School, at Yale University's Genocide Studies Program, and at the Yale School of Management's Program on Social Enterprise. He is also a Lecturer in Yale's Department of Political Science and affiliated with Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy. Dr. Kaufman is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on boards of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Humanity in Action, Genocide Watch, Indego Africa, and the Association of Marshall Scholars. He was instrumental in creating Rwanda's first public library, the Kigali Public Library.
Dr. Kaufman said he is thrilled to visit Pacific Lutheran University because he greatly admires the university’s commitment to social justice and emphasis on global education in preparing its students to be world citizens and future leaders. He added, “As part of that cutting-edge, interdisciplinary curriculum, the university, which features the endowed Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies and the annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education, is one of the country’s premier centers for Holocaust and Genocide Studies—my own area of concentration. I very much look forward to engaging with PLU students, faculty, and staff.”
At PLU, he will address the topic of his latest book: “Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities: Changing our World.”
The talk marks the beginning of yearlong programming at PLU regarding Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Later this year, a documentary on Rwanda will be screened. In February, the Wang Center for Global Education will host two-day symposium entitled Legacies of the Shoah: Why do people kill? Understanding Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. The seventh annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education will take place in March.
In USIP’s statement of support, President Jim Marshall said, “USIP is pleased to support organizations like Pacific Lutheran University and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict – and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently.”
The United States Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul, Afghanistan.
As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a portion of its budget to support organizations that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices, and professionalizing the field through education and training. The Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a program of USIP administered by the Institute of International Education.