The Ninth Annual Genocide Awareness Week, April 12–17, presented virtually by Scottsdale Community College (SCC), brings together a host of distinguished guests, including survivors, scholars, politicians, artists, activists, humanitarians and members of law enforcement.

The week-long event, featuring lectures, workshops, and storytelling, seeks to address how we, as a global society, confront violent actions and current and ongoing threats of genocide throughout the world, while also looking to the past for guidance and to honor those affected by genocide.

Genocide Awareness Week: Not on Our Watch allows participants to explore, as a community, how we confront collective violent acts. Throughout the week, presenters will examine both past and current human rights violations. In addition to historical recounts and personal experiences, several sessions will focus on healing: working with groups in conflict, building trust in affected areas and a discussion of U.S. policy and involvement.

Presentations and Speakers of Note

Opening night: Holocaust survivor Oskar Knoblauch shares his inspiring story of survival and a hopeful message of respect and tolerance. Several scholars from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum are scheduled to present, along with scholars and humanitarians discussing genocide and human rights violations from the Assyrian Genocide to the U.S. – Mexico border.

Keynote Speaker: Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, presenting “RFK Human Rights and the Rohingya Crisis.” Since 1981, Kennedy has worked on diverse human rights issues including child labor, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, impunity, women’s rights, and the environment.

Tuesday, April 13: A screening of Kevin Ekvall’s documentary, “I’m Not Leaving,” which tells the story of Carl Wilkens, the only American who refused to leave Rwanda when the 1994 genocide broke out. Tuesday evening, Wilkens will share his story firsthand.

Wednesday, April 14: Ambassador Edward O’Donnell, ASU professor of practice Barrett & O’Connor Center, McCain Institute, concludes Wednesday’s events with a presentation entitled, “U.S. Policy and Government Programs and Involvement Regarding Genocide and Human Rights.”

Thursday, April 15: Dr. Wendy Lower, John K Roth Professor of History and director of the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College, will present “The Ravine: A Family, A Photograph, A Holocaust Massacre Revealed.”

All presentations will be held virtually, and most events are free and open to the public. For the complete schedule of events, to register, or to join a presentation, visit

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