Alice Musabende and Ellen Kennedy, 2010
In 2005, Dr. Ellen J. Kennedy spent two weeks in Rwanda. She met a young Rwandan woman, Alice Musabende. Alice was orphaned at age 14 during the Rwandan genocide, losing her grandparents, parents, 12-year-old sister, and 9-year-old and 2-year-old brothers. Alice’s experience affected Dr. Kennedy deeply, particularly because Alice is the same age as her own daughter. Dr. Kennedy shared her experience of visiting post-genocide Rwanda with one of her classes. Upon learning that in 1994 nearly a million people were slaughtered in a hundred days, one of Kennedy’s students asked, “What are we going to do about this?”
Using the model of the Genocide Intervention Network, founded by Mark Hanis, Kennedy began World Without Genocide with a dedicated and gifted group of students. Over the past six years our organization has focused on education through many different opportunities – classes, workshops, films, exhibits, conferences – and we have advocated successfully for city and state legislation. We address conflicts in the past, those occurring today, and the challenging problems of child soldiers, human trafficking, gender-based violence, weapons trafficking, and resource scarcity or abundance as causes of conflict.
World Without Genocide works to protect innocent people around the world; prevent genocide by combating racism and prejudice; advocate for the prosecution of perpetrators; and remember those whose lives and cultures have been destroyed by violence.
World Without Genocide envisions a future in which genocide and other mass atrocities, perpetrated against innocent people based solely on who they are, will disappear from the earth.
- We believe that people care deeply about each other.
- We believe that we must create opportunities for people to develop empathy for others and a social and political climate in which people will stand up to protect marginalized people everywhere.
- We empower educational, faith, and community leaders to make genocide prevention an important goal at the local, state, national, and international levels.
- We believe that we must end a culture that allows perpetrators of mass atrocities to act with impunity.
- We believe in the importance of preserving the stories of individuals and cultures whose survival has been at risk.
- Political Engagement. The Executive Director serves on Rep. Keith Ellison’s Foreign Affairs Roundtable, a quarterly meeting about global issues. World Without Genocide successfully advocated for a Genocide Awareness and Prevention bill that passed in the Minnesota legislature in 2013.
- Student Chapters. World Without Genocide establishes chapters at high schools, colleges, and universities, including at William Mitchell College of Law.
- Internships. We engage young people through internships and special programs, to develop leaders who make human rights and justice for all a central objective in their lives.
- Speakers’ Bureau. We have experts who travel the region educating about genocide. We have spoken to tens of thousands of people in faith, educational, human rights, and civic communities.
- Summer Institute for High School Students. World hosts an annual Summer Institute in August to teach high school students about human rights and genocide, as well as the leadership tools to stand up for human rights, both locally and globally.
- Summer Institute for Educators and Leaders. World hosts an annual Summer Institute in June for educators and leaders, with the option for three graduate credits from the University of Minnesota for qualified applicants.
- Exploring Human Rights spring break trip. World facilitates an annual spring break trip for law students and William Mitchell faculty and staff to explore career, internship, and volunteer opportunities in justice and law in New York City and Washington, D.C. Students meet with human rights experts at the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Institute of Peace, and other agencies and organizations.
- Conflict-Free Initiative. The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, started by the Enough Project, is a national campaign to build support for conflict-free electronics. We encourage schools and other institutions to sign resolutions pledging to purchase electronics from companies who make efforts to clear source their supply chain.
- Educational Films. World Without Genocide, in partnership with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (University of Minnesota) and Twin Cities Public Television, created a documentary, “Genocide Again: Darfur” in 2009. World Without Genocide and Twin Cities Public Television produced a second film, “Children of Genocide: Five Who Survived,” in 2010; it was nominated for a regional Emmy award.
- Media Opportunities. World Without Genocide and Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy hosted a 90-minute radio show. Kennedy is frequently featured on cable television shows, participates in many radio interviews, and has been highlighted in newspapers throughout the country.
- Plays “Upstanders” and “Upstanders: Ten Who Dared.” We have written two readers’ theatre plays featuring people who took a stand against genocide, including Oskar Schindler, Dith Pran, and Samantha Power. Translations are available in Spanish, Oromo, and Somali. The plays are available without royalty fees and are widely used in training programs, diversity education classes, and faith communities.
- Promotional Materials. World Without Genocide produces bookmarks, t-shirts, calendars, coffee mugs, magnets, and tote bags with inspirational messages and information. We also produce and sell educational DVDs. Proceeds help to fund internships and students’ conference attendance.
- Genocide Education Certificate. World Without Genocide offers certificates to those who attend programs, conferences, lectures, and events about genocides that include Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, and current crises.
- Continuing Education. World Without Genocide offers continuing education credits for teachers, lawyers, and other professionals, as appropriate, at workshops, lectures, and other events
- Outreach and Program Scope. We address historical conflicts, including Native Americans, the Herero, the Armenians, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Argentina, and East Timor. We address current crises in Burma, Darfur, Ivory Coast, North Korea, Guatemala, and Congo; gender-based violence; child soldiers; human trafficking; the global ‘responsibility to protect;’ and issues of justice, prevention, and prosecution.
World Without Genocide is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
World Without Genocide coordinates policy initiatives with United to End Genocide in Washington, D.C. and Stop Genocide Now in Los Angeles.
World Without Genocide is a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, American Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and Minnesota Alliance for the International Criminal Court.