FRESNO—The Genocide Education Project, in partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee, Fresno, and Fresno educator and Holocaust education specialist Hillary Levine provided a day-long workshop for Fresno’s middle and high school social studies teachers.
Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson and History/Social Sciences Manager Stephen Ruiz welcomed teachers and emphasized the district’s commitment to providing professional development to help both teachers and students better understand Fresno’s diverse communities and their histories.
GenEd Education Director Sara Cohan presented foundational education about the definition and stages of genocide, Armenian civilization and history – including the Armenian Genocide – the geopolitical, economic, and social context in which it was perpetrated, its role as the prototype for modern-era genocide, its consequences, and the ongoing Turkish denial.
“I really felt empowered to teach about the Armenian Genocide on a deeper and more thorough level after this workshop,” remarked Tony Fiori, 10th grade World History teacher at Sunnyside High School.
Aligned with California’s History-Social Science educational framework and Fresno’s Instructional Practice Guide protocols, the workshop introduced print, video, and web-based approaches to teaching about genocide, with a particular focus on the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, including two seminal cases through which important parallels and universal lessons are learned.
“Best workshop FUSD has ever put on!” said Heather Miller, 10th grade Advanced Placement European History teacher at Edison High.
Hillary Levine, educator and Holocaust specialist, introduced a variety of resources for teaching about the Holocaust, including oral histories of survivors and the educational project called “Violins of Hope,” a collection of violins, violas, and cellos rescued from the Holocaust and restored. Levine and Cohan also led an interactive session during which teachers prepared presentations utilizing the Ten Stages of Genocide.