Left to right: Shackles that bound the enslaved - a tragic reminder of the transatlantic slave trade (UN Photo/Mark Garten) Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Extermination and Death Camp (UN Photo/Evan Schneider) Survivor Innocente Nyirahabimana, she was 12 when her family was murdered during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (Photo: Myriam Abdelaziz)

Department of Global Communications Live Discussion Series

Beyond the long shadow: engaging with difficult histories is a live discussion series organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications. The series is organized by the Outreach Programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slaverythe Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, and the Outreach Programme on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations. The aim of the collaborative series is to develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.



Date: Thursday, 16 June 2022
Time: 9:00 a.m. EDT
Hate speech explainer video

Fighting Hate Speech: Global Perspectives

This event will highlight the activities in terms of teaching, research, and community engagement that are carried out in universities and colleges to counter hate speech on campus and beyond, and the contribution of the work of institutions of higher education to create awareness and change policies in this regard. Moreover, and through the opinion of experts in the field with roles in international organizations, we will share ideas on how to reinforce the role of academia to address the challenges derived from hate speech.



Date: Friday, 1 October 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. EDT

Making learners more resilient to disinformation, “fake news” and conspiracy theories

Disinformation, “fake news’ and conspiracy theories spread racism and support supremacist ideology, encouraging hate crimes. Disinformation and fake news related to public health in the context of COVID-19, has proved to be, in some instances, life-threatening, and has encouraged a rise in racist attacks, xenophobia, antisemitism and islamophobia. The panel discussion considered approaches to the “infodemic” and what measures can build the resilience of youth to disinformation, “fake news’ and conspiracy theories. The panel considered how Holocaust education and education about the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda can strengthen learners’ understanding of the consequences of disinformation, ‘fake news’ and conspiracy theories going unchallenged, and their ability to recognize and respond to mis- and disinformation. The Panel examined the initiatives developed by the United Nations and the work being done in South Africa to build youth resilience. The panel discussion was part of the multi-stakeholder forum on addressing hate speech through education organized by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, and UNESCO.



Date: Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. EDT

Memory at risk: the importance of genocide archives for justice, remembrance, research and education

Archives play a crucial role in genocide remembrance and education and have been essential for legal procedures and conflict transformation processes in the aftermath of genocide. Establishing comprehensive archives in post-genocide societies can be a challenge, as well as ensuring the continuous preservation of artifacts and documents, and their accessibility to the public.

In a context of increasing disinformation, archives as places of authentic historical information, are an important counterbalance to narratives that seek to distort or deny genocidal pasts and form an important basis for informed research and education.

Date: Thursday, 21 January 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. EST

Women and Genocide


What has been the impact of genocide on women? How did women respond? To what extent did it matter whether you were a woman? Experts considered these questions.

Speakers included Dr. Sara Cushman, Director, Holocaust Educational Foundation, Northwestern University, who spoke about women during the Holocaust; and Dr. Sarah E. Brown, Executive Director, Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education, Brookdale Community College who spoke about women during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Ms. Simona Cruciani, Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, examined atrocity crimes and gender, and considered this in the light of genocide prevention. Ms. Nanette Braun, Officer-in-Charge, Strategic Communications Division, United Nations Department of Global Communications served as moderator.

E4: Panellists


Date: Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Time: 9:30 a.m. EST

Radio and Reconstruction


How was radio used to facilitate genocide, and how was the same medium was used in the aftermath, to assist with the reconstitution and tracing of families?

Radio helped to marginalize, dehumanize and demonize the targets of the Nazis during the Holocaust and the victims of the genocidaires in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. However, just as radio proved a powerful vehicle to foster and incite hatred, so it has been proved a significant vehicle for reconstruction after atrocity crimes. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the International Red Cross, the International Tracing Service and radio stations such as the BBC, broadcast lists of names of survivors in the hope that families would be reunited. 49-years after the end of the Second World War, and 3 months after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda had ended, the BBC launched a radio project to support the people of Rwanda. The first service, BBC Gahuzamiryango – “the unifier of families” broadcast the names of children who were looking for their parents and collected messages from refugees living in camps in Tanzania, DRC and Burundi who were trying to trace their loved ones.


Date: Thursday, 29 October 2020
Time: 10:00 a.m. EDT

Educating against Racism


How can education and educators challenge racism, prejudice and discrimination - the legacies of histories of oppression, mass atrocities and genocide? How can teachers facilitate difficult conversations about identity, discrimination, racism and prejudice, and remind students of other legacy - the legacy of resistance, solidarity and empathy? "Educating against Racism" will explore these questions.

Following a discussion, the Anne Frank House will lead a workshop, introducing the online resource, Stories that Move – Toolbox against discrimination resource for educators and students. The Stories that Move resource creates spaces for difficult but rewarding conversations. It aims to move young people to empathy for others, to gain new perspectives, and to contribute to change. This presentation will show how visible thinking methods and blended learning can support educators to be inclusive. By using the personal stories of other young people learners are challenged to reflect on the choices they themselves make when faced with inequality and hate. 

Date: Wednesday, 8 July 202O
Time: 11 a.m. EDT

Museums, Memorials and Memorialization after Atrocity – Communicating a Form of Ongoing Justice?

What role might statues, memorials, museums and memorialization after atrocity crimes, play in furthering the interests of justice?

An expert panel considers whether statues, memorials, museums and acts of memorialization might: a) empower victims and their descendants by serving as concrete expressions of public recognition of the grievous injury done to the victims; b) encourage an understanding of the agency of victims; c) encourage empathy and action to challenge existing inequities; d) counter the tendency to sentimentalize the past and ossify individuals and communities into particular roles.

What is it that a memorial or museum of atrocity crime is hoping to achieve for those injured in the past and their descendants? What of those for whom the history appears to have no immediate connection, and for those who were complicit or who benefitted from the atrocity?