SAN FRANCISCO—Sara Cohan, Education Director of The Genocide Education Project (GenEd), was appointed to the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board for the 2011-2012 school year. In forming its first advisory board, Teaching Tolerance chose The Genocide Education Project’s Cohan as one of twenty-two educators out of more than five hundred applicants from across the country.
Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Teaching Tolerance produces and distributes educational materials including books, lesson plans, and films. The resources have won countless awards including two Oscars and an Emmy.
As a member of the advisory board, Cohan will travel to Montgomery to review and offer suggestions to the work of Teaching Tolerance. According to Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, “Advisory board members will give advice on classroom activities and offer input on professional development materials and content for Teaching Tolerance by evaluating story ideas and lessons, commenting on published articles and reviewing projects in development.”
Cohan served as the Research Fellow for Teaching Tolerance, in 2001, during which time she wrote an article about the Armenian Genocide in “The World Was Silent” (Teaching Tolerance, Number 22: Fall 2002). “During my time at Teaching Tolerance, I was able support multicultural initiatives of true value to educators,” said Cohan. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute again.”
SPLC published the 2008 article “Turkey Spends Millions to Cover up Armenian Genocide” in its publication, Intelligence Report. The organization was subsequently sued for libel by the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund on behalf of retired University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor Guenter Lewy, an Armenian Genocide denier. The case was settled with undisclosed conditions, although retractions of the article were published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Review of Books, and a financial payment was made to Lewy.
By serving on the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board, Cohan hopes to have a positive influence on the SPLC’s inclusion of Armenian Genocide awareness within its scope of work.
The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.