May 18, 2009
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM’S NEW EXHIBIT FROM MEMORY TO ACTION: MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF GENOCIDE ENGAGES VISITORS IN GENOCIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide, a new interactive installation in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Wexner Center, uses cutting edge technology and powerful first-hand testimony from eyewitnesses to the Holocaust, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Sudan to simultaneously educate visitors about genocide and engage them in efforts to build a community of people committed to stopping it.
“Many visitors to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum want to transform what they learn about the Holocaust into meaningful action,” says curator Bridget Conley-Zilkic. “This installation helps them understand that genocide remains a challenge and that they can play a part in preventing it and improving how we respond to it.”
In Meeting the Challenge of Genocide, visitors learn about three cases of genocide that occurred after the Holocaust, through eyewitness testimonies, videos, photographs, and narratives. Central to the installation is an interactive table that encourages visitors to save installation content and share their experience through online social networking tools. Visitors are challenged to pledge to take action against genocide and join a worldwide community engaged in the effort. Pledges from across the globe are displayed on a dynamic pledge wall. Online visitors can access and share installation content through the Museum’s Web site, www.ushmm.org/genocide/take_action.
“Improving how we respond to threats of genocide demands new tools, strong leadership, and an engaged public,” continues Conley-Zilkic. “Meeting the Challenge of Genocide uses innovative techniques that we hope will inspire the Museum’s over 1.7 million annual visitors and 25 million online visitors to join our on-going efforts to prevent and respond to genocide.”
Meeting the Challenge of Genocide is part of the Museum’s multipronged initiative to educate citizens about the ongoing problem of genocide and engage them in efforts to prevent it. Current major initiatives include convening the Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, with the United States Institute of Peace and the American Academy of Diplomacy; partnering with Google Earth to launch “Crisis in Darfur”; and “World Is Witness,” a Museum online mapping initiative that bears witness to genocide and related crimes against humanity around the world. More information can be found at www.ushmm.org/genocide.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by the generosity of donors nationwide. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.