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2019 Programs


"The Gift of Our Wounds" Presented by Arno Michaelis

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Arno Michaelis was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared Racial Holy War, and lead singer of the hate-metal band Centurion, which sold 20,000 CDs by the mid-nineties and is still popular with racists today. Single parenthood, love for his daughter, and the forgiveness shown by people he once hated all helped to turn Arno’s life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life. After spending over a decade as a successful information technology consultant and entrepreneur, Arno is now a speaker, author of My Life After Hate, co-author of The Gift of Our Wounds, and very fortunate to be able to share his ongoing process of character development as an educator working with Serve 2 Unite.

This event was made possible in part by the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

This event took place on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 6:30 pm Eastern Time.

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"Running and Hiding from The Nazis: A Child Survivor’s Account of her Escape with Her Family from the Holocaust" Presented by Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff

Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff is a child survivor of the Holocaust. She fled Nazi Europe with her family in 1941. She spoke about her family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, her life since, and what she has done as an educator to ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten.

Dr. Klein Kassenoff has studied at Yad Vashem and is a graduate of the prestigious Vladka Meed Teacher’s Program. She is the Director of the Holocaust Teachers Institute at the University of Miami where she also serves as an adjunct professor/lecturer, as well as the Education Specialist for Holocaust Studies for Miami-Dade County Public School.

Dr. Klein Kassenoff is a frequent speaker on Holocaust education nationwide and co-authored Studying the Holocaust Through Film and Literature. Dr. Klein Kassenoff is the founder of the “Screening the Holocaust” film series in Miami. She has been awarded Professional Educator of the Year by the Miami-Dade Social Studies Organization, the Tikkun Olam Award from the Haitian Holocaust Refugee Project, and was given a special tribute by the Florida House of Representatives for her work on behalf of the Jewish community of Florida.

This event was made possible in part by the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

This event took place on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

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"Lesson Plan: The Story of the Third Wave" with Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock was one of the original students in Ron Jones’s class when Jones undertook “The Wave” experiment. Self-described as a “wannabe resistor turned bystander,” and as the associate producer of “Lesson Plan” and the Wave’s class historian, Mark offers a unique insight into the experiment from the perspective of one who was swept into the fray as Jones’s class embraced The Wave. After retiring from a career in architecture, he decided to put his experiences in the experiment to work. Mark has presented on The Wave at the United Nations, U.S. State Department, and the Holocaust and Humanity Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also been featured on the German History Channel documentary Total Control. Mark continues to speak on the experience in Jones’s class and the lessons of The Wave in order to facilitate discussions about charismatic leaders, group dynamics, bullying, and gangs in the hopes of generating more positive outcomes.

The Third Wave (or The Wave) was an experimental social movement created by California high school history teacher Ron Jones in 1967 to explain how the German population could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War.

This event was made possible in part by the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

This event took place on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at 6:30 pm Eastern Time.

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Yasmin Ullah: Rohingya Refugee and Activist

The Rohingya, natives of Rakhine State in Myanmar, have been the frequent target of genocidal violence by multiple regimes in Myanmar. The most recent and ongoing round of violence has displaced over 700,000 Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh and around the world. Yasmin Ullah recounted her experiences fleeing one of the many attacks on the Rohingya by Myanmar’s government and her journey to becoming an activist for her people, raising awareness for those still facing persecution, and the difficulties surrounding the return to Myanmar.

Yasmin Ullah is a Rohingya social justice activist born in the Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar during a time when genocide was brewing in the region. She fled to Thailand in 1995 along with her parents and remained a stateless refugee in Thailand until 2011. She currently serves as the President of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, a non-profit group led by activists across Canada in advocacy and raising public awareness of the Rohingya genocide. Yasmin is also a research coordinator at Free Rohingya Coalition, which is a global network of Rohingya activists and friends of Rohingyas who share common concerns about Myanmar’s ongoing genocide and the need for Rohingya genocide survivors to play an active role in seeking a viable future.

At the time of this event, Yasmin was completing her undergraduate degree in political science and was actively involved in creating more accessible mosques and places of spirituality for those with special needs through her work in co-directing HAMDA (Helping All Muslims with Different Abilities).

This event was made possible in part by the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

This event took place on Saturday, October 5th, 2019, at 6:30 pm Eastern Time.

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"A Sentinel Against Hate" Presented by Christopher Tuckwood

Christopher Tuckwood is the co-founder and executive director of The Sentinel Project, a Canadian NGO dedicated to assisting communities threatened by mass atrocities through direct cooperation with the people in harm’s way and the innovative use of technology. Chris also initiated the development of the Sarus Humanitarian Aerospace program exploring the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e. drones) in conflict response and humanitarian roles and has overseen the development of the Hatebase online hate speech monitoring platform. Chris has been involved in atrocity prevention efforts since working on the movement to end genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan while studying as an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo.

Chris’s talk focused on what first inspired him to dedicate his life to preventing genocide despite his lack of personal connections to any past genocides. Chris’s story follows him from the documentary that sparked his interest in his current international work with The Sentinel Project.

This event was made possible in part by the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

This event took place on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 6:30 pm Eastern Time.

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