Propaganda, Hate Speech, and Civic Engagement
June 28–30 in Washington, DC
Bob Behr was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1922. Together with his mother, Lilly, and stepfather, Alfred, he was sent to the Theresienstadt camp-ghetto in 1942. When Theresienstadt grew too crowded and the Gestapo began deporting prisoners to Auschwitz, he protected his parents by volunteering to work on the new SS headquarters at Wulkow. In January 1945 he returned to Theresienstadt, where he reunited with his parents, and the Soviet army liberated the camp-ghetto that May. After immigrating to the United States in 1947, he enlisted in the US Army, using his fluency in German to interrogate former Nazi personnel in Berlin, and five years later joined the US Air Force civil service, for whom he worked as an intelligence officer. He retired in 1988 after 39 years of government service and has served as a volunteer at the since 2001.
Martha Heinemann Bixby is Director of Campaigns and Outreach for the Save Darfur Coalition/Genocide Intervention Network, where she also served as Campaign Manager and Outreach Coordinator. Leading up to the 2008 Olympics, she was the Executive Director of Team Darfur, a coalition of more than 400 Olympic and professional athletes from around the world committed to raising awareness about and bringing an end to the genocide in Sudan. While at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she co-founded STAND, a student anti-genocide coalition that has grown to include hundreds of chapters around the world.
A Jewish Council on Public Affair’s Tikkun Olam Award recipient, a Truman National Security Project Partner, and an Alliance of Youth Movements 2010 Fellow, she volunteers with the Sudanese-led organization Voices for Sudan and consults on social media for the tech start-up EarthAid.net.
Sara Bloomfield is Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial, leading the institution’s efforts to raise Holocaust awareness, confront Holocaust denial, and advance genocide prevention. An advisor to museums around the world, she is a member of the International Auschwitz Council and serves on the board of the International Council of Museums/USA. Recently awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, she is also the recipient of three honorary doctorates. She joined the planning staff of the Museum in 1986 when it was a project in development and served in a variety of roles before becoming Director in 1999.
Eric Brinkert, a former Museum intern, works for CrossOver Health Care Ministry, which provides health care to uninsured, low-income residents of Richmond, Virginia. A 2009 graduate of Georgetown University’s conflict resolution program, he served as an alternative dispute resolution intern in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and as a reconciliation program intern with the Lutheran Church of Rwanda in Kigali. While in Kigali, he wrote his thesis on the role of the Protestant Christian churches in the social reconciliation process following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. After completing his master’s degree, he served as an AmeriCorps member facilitating conflict resolution in inner-city Richmond with Boaz and Ruth, an ex-offender re-entry program for adults recently released from prison. During that time, he also traveled to Rwanda for three weeks to serve as the special program assistant for Global Youth Connect’s human rights delegation to Rwanda.
Mary Giardina is entering her senior year at Ohio State University (OSU), where she is studying mathematics and English education. She is President of the Ohio Student Education Association chapter at OSU, a student representative on the Central Ohio Education Association/National Education Association Executive Board, a former intern at OSU’s Hillel, and former President of its Holocaust Awareness Council. A past participant in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s What You Do Matters Student Leadership Summit, she organized a week of events to commemorate the Holocaust on her camous this past April and is working to educate her peers on the dangers of hate speech.
Renee Hobbs is Founding Director of and Professor at the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media. A leading authority on media literacy education in the United States, she is a former professor at the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she founded the Media Education Lab in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media.
She helped create the Partnership for Media Education, which evolved into the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and is co-editor of the Journal for Media Literacy Education. In 1993, she created the Harvard Institute on Media Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the first national program of teacher professional development in media literacy in the United States. In 2008, she developed Powerful Voices for Kids, a university-school partnership to create alternative assessment methodology to document children’s development of critical thinking and communication skills in response to mass media, popular culture, and digital media.
She received a BA in English literature and film video studies and an MA in Communication from the University of Michigan, and an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Louis Jacobson is Senior Writer for PolitiFact and the Tampa Bay Times. Previously he served as Deputy Editor of Roll Call and Founding Editor of its legislative wire service, CongressNow, and spent more than a decade covering politics, policy, and lobbying for National Journal magazine. Since 2002, he has handicapped political races, including those for state legislatures, governorships, congressional seats, state attorneys generalships, and the electoral college, which he currently does for Governing. In 2004, he originated the “Out There” column on politics in the states, which ran in Roll Call and later on Stateline.org and which won five annual awards from Capitolbeat, the association of state capitol reporters and editors.
Tim Kaiser is the Museum’s Director of Education Initiatives. Since joining the staff in 2000, he has worked to create interpretive and educational learning experiences for both the Museum’s visiting public and specialized audiences. He has been a part of several exhibition teams; created facilitated programs for the general public as well as for teachers and students; written materials for exhibitions, the classroom, and the Museum’s website and mobile applications; and developed a variety of videos and other multiplatform resources. A former history teacher, he has BAs in history, English, and secondary education and an MA in modern European history from Wayne State University, as well as an MA in modern German history from the University of Michigan.
Ann Mann Millin is the Museum’s Historian in Leadership Programs and curator of the online version of the Museum’s exhibition State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda. Previously she was the Special Assistant to the Director of the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Program Coordinator of the Museum’s Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance, and Historian in the Museum’s Photo Archives.
A former research fellow at the University of Göttingen of Germany and former Inter-University Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she has taught Jewish history, Judaic studies, world religions, and Holocaust studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Kentucky at Lexington. Her scholarly research focuses on the history of Jewish social welfare work in Germany under the Third Reich, and she is also the translator of Götz Aly’s The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931–1943 (2008). She received a BA in speech and theatre from Macalester College, an MA in religious studies from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in Jewish history from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.
Leslie Morrow is Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center and Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She serves on several of the university’s committees devoted to diversity and social justice, including the Chancellor’s LGBT Advisory Committee, Sexual Orientation Diversity Allies, and the Student Affairs Diversity Committee, and is the Anti-Racism Chair of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in college student personnel from Miami University.
Eboo Patel is Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to building a global interfaith youth movement. Named one of America’s best leaders of 2009 by US News & World Report, he is author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith and a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a PhD in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
Isabel Tamoj is an intern in the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center, where she is being sponsored by Germany’s Action Reconciliation Service for Peace, which places young volunteers throughout Europe, Israel, and the United States to seek greater international understanding by facing the legacy of Nazi history. A native of Bad Honnef, Germany, she graduated from high school there in 2011 and plans to attend the Free University in Berlin to study history and political science.
Hudson Taylor is Executive Director of Athlete Ally, which is dedicated to educating, encouraging, and empowering straight athlete allies to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. A three-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and one of the top-five pinners in NCAA history, he founded Athlete Ally after wearing an LGBT rights sticker on his wrestling headgear in college to show solidarity as a straight athlete with his LGBT peers. Recently he received the PFLAG Straight for Equality Award and was named “Greatest Person of the Day” on April 8 by the Huffington Post. In fall 2011, he was honored by Buick and the NCAA as a feature story of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and his work became part of the permanent Miller Family Youth Exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. An assistant wrestling coach at Columbia University, he lectures around the country on LGBT awareness and blogs for the Huffington Post.
JoAnna Wasserman is the Museum’s Education Initiatives Manager, where she leads outreach on the subject of propaganda. A Museum staff member since 2004, she has developed programs and resources for the public, families, and specialized professional audiences. She received a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and an MAT from the George Washington University’s Museum Education Program. Prior to the Museum, she worked for three years at Grey Worldwide, an advertising agency in New York.
Carl Wilkens was a humanitarian aid worker with the Adventist Church when he moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide began in April 1994, he refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, his church, and the US government—becoming the only American to remain in Kigali throughout the genocide as thousands of expatriates evacuated and the UN pulled out most of its troops. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water, and medicines to orphans trapped around the city. His actions saved the lives of hundreds.
He and his wife, Teresa, founded an educational nonprofit called World Outside My Shoes on the belief that stories and service are two of the most powerful keys every person possesses to build peace. Traveling full-time around the world, they tell stories from Rwanda and invite people to enter the world of the “other.”
Lynn D. Williams is the Museum’s Director of Leadership Programs. With more than 25 years’ experience as an educator, she has developed and managed public/private partnerships and spearheaded a wide range of educational programs locally, nationally, and internationally for the Museum. In 1994 she joined the Museum’s staff to launch the Bringing the Lessons Home program, designed to introduce public school teachers, students, and families to Holocaust history and offer students the opportunity to become long-term ambassadors and docents for the Museum. In 1999, she directed the launch of the Museum’s Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust initiative, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, the FBI, and the Anti-Defamation League, to provide ethical leadership training to professionals. The recipient of several awards, she has presented at conferences worldwide.
Applications due June 10.
To learn more, please contact JoAnna Wasserman at email@example.com or 202.314.0304.
This year's summit has been made possible by the generous support of the Marcus Foundation.
“I learned there are other students who want to create change and foster dialogue too. The only thing that can hold us back is a lack of imagination.” —2011 Summit Participant
“You gave us not only education, but the self-confidence to bring our ideals home and a wonderful network of leaders for support and advice.”
—2011 Summit Participant