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Holocaust and other acts of mass violence will be required teaching under new Oregon law

Oregon State University's College of Education will host a free, day-long curriculum symposium for K-12 educators who will soon be required to teach about the Holocaust and other acts of mass violence under a new Oregon law.

The symposium is believed to be the first of its kind in Oregon. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15 at the OSU Portland Center, 555 SW Morrison St.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed into law SB 664, which requires Oregon school districts to provide instruction about the Holocaust and other genocides beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

Amanda Kibler, an associate professor in the College of Education at Oregon State, is one of the event's organizers.

"As a key preparer of educators in Oregon, our goal is to bring teachers together to learn and collaborate as they develop and implement curriculum to address the requirements of the newly passed HB 664," Kibler said. "The symposium gives us all an opportunity to get these conversations started quickly so teachers are prepared for the new requirements."  

The symposium is designed for teachers, administrators and other education leaders. Speakers will discuss innovations in Holocaust and genocide curriculum design. The event will also provide opportunities for collaboration that can contribute to statewide conversations about the new instruction requirements.

The keynote speaker is Ian Schwab, director of advocacy and impact strategy for the Enough Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending genocide and crimes against humanity.

Other presenters include: Amit Kobrowski, a K-12 social science specialist with the Oregon Department of Education, who will help write education standards to meet the new requirements; Sarah Minslow, an assistant professor of children's and young adult literature at California State University, Los Angeles; Kara Ritzheimer and Katherine Hubler, professors of history at Oregon State; and Amanda Solomon, manager of museum and Holocaust education at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

Symposium collaborators include the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education; the OSU Center for the Humanities and the OSU School of History, Philosophy and Religion.

OSU has a long history of providing Holocaust and genocide education opportunities for the community. The university's annual Holocaust Memorial Week program, held each year since 1987, typically draws hundreds of people to the Corvallis campus for presentations, panel discussions and a keynote speech, usually from a Holocaust survivor.

Space is limited for the symposium; to register, visit https://beav.es/ZdM. Lunch will be provided and teachers also will receive professional development credit.


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