Area of Focus: Armenian Genocide Recognition
Location: Illinois, Skokie
Kelley Szany, Director of Educational Outreach & Genocide Initiatives, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Szany joined the Museum’s staff in 2001. She oversees all of the Museum’s educational outreach initiatives for students and educators, and develops the Museum’s community, youth and teacher programming and seminars on genocide and human rights issues. During her tenure Szany has been instrumental in the development of the Museum’s broader genocide and human rights mission and vision. She has become recognized as a leading contemporary genocide educator, speaking to audiences not only on the Holocaust but the genocides of Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur, as well as the power of social change and youth activism. In 2012, she created the Museum’s education framework, “On Our Watch: Genocide and Human Rights” which uses literature, film and primary resource materials to teach about 20th and 21st century genocide and human rights crimes. She recently presented a joint full-day clinic at the National Council of Social Studies’Annual Conference with partners The Genocide Education Project; Facing History and Ourselves, and The Choices Program at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, on the topic – “’A Problem from Hell’ Revisited: Genocide Prevention Today.” In addition, in 2013 she led the Museum in hosting a groundbreaking and high-level event on North Korea’s hidden gulag system, in partnership with the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Szany currently sits on the advisory committee for the development of The Train Curriculum, a real-time and internet based program that connects high schools students across the United States with their peers in Germany, Israel and the U.K., in grasping the connections between Holocaust history and contemporary oppression and atrocities. She is recipient of the Chicago Public School Service Learning Outstanding Community Partner Award, Friend of the Jewish Community Award from the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana, and the Samuel Goldsmith Award from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Szany is a graduate of Canisius College in New York and Loyola University Chicago, and holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in Public History. Her area of study and education focused on that of memory and the future role of Holocaust museums and memorials.