Salem State believes that human rights issues are very central to learning. As an example, we just opened a Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies on campus, which is a research center that focuses on local and global human rights and related topics. One aim of the many aims of the center is to create links between the university community and the Rwandans, Bosnians and other populations in the greater Salem community who have suffered genocide and other human rights violations. Because we are very interested in their plight and their culture, we host community events, a public lecture series, research conversations about faculty-related projects and much more to include them and help to strengthen the connections between our students, the faculty and these communities.
The center recently developed a graduate certificate program in Holocaust and genocide studies, which brings together talented faculty from across campus to share their knowledge with students about human rights, comparative genocide and the Holocaust. We want to help our students to better understand and engage with these important issues and to consider their role as part of a global community. To achieve this, our future goals include the creation of an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor in Holocaust, genocide and memory studies, the hosting of an international conference on campus that draws scholars from around the world, and the bolstering of support for student and faculty research on cutting-edge topics related to comparative genocide studies.
Faculty members have been working to make this center a reality for 10 years—committing our time over and above our regular teaching responsibilities—because we believe so strongly in what the center represents.