Spotlight on genocide awareness

By Sonia Aquije


The Holocaust and Genocide Studies program has raised $2,026 so far to help finance Kean students who hope to work as unpaid interns at organizations fighting injustice such as slavery.

The site notes that the cause couldn’t be more urgent as today it is estimated that some 20 million people live as slaves around the world.

“This money will be distributed to our graduate students so they can spend time out on a volunteer basis with a human rights organization,” said Dr. Dennis Klein, director of the master of arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “It’s the first time Kean has raised money for graduate genocide awareness internships.”

The money was raised through Kean University’s crowd funding website, KeanLift, which uses social media and traditional media to raise monies for research and causes related to the university’s academic mission. The program is run by the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.

The campaign will enable graduate students enrolled in field work and an internship seminar to work unpaid internships at organizations around the world like the International Rescue Committee, American Friends and Service Committee, The United Nations War Criminals Documentation Center, and US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s International Tracing services.

“Each $600 stipend will provide interns with local travel support, a per diem allowance, and a subsidy to relieve students from full-time work for the duration of their internship experience,” according to Kean Lift’s website.

The fundraising campaign coincided with Genocide Awareness month that ran the entire month of April and included a host of activities ranging from film screenings, lectures, workshops, graduate faculty and student panels. All the events were free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $10 at the door. The event sponsors were: Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide studies, Jewish Studies Program, Holocaust Resource Center and the Human Rights Institute.

Kean Lift’s genocide awareness internship fund, a campaign started by the Masters in Holocaust in Genocide studies, started on March 3 and ran through April 17 online.

Xirena Wormley, a senior majoring in Communication/Journalism interned as social media coordinator for the genocide awareness internship fund through Kean Lift.

“Though, I am not a Holocaust and Genocide studies student having, done research for the campaign taught me some valuable lessons in terms of [the] global state of human rights,” said Wormley. “The campaign is ultimately about helping Holocaust and Genocide students through funded internships so that they can join human rights organizations and fight against genocide.”

The goal of the campaign was to raise $6,000 to fund ten graduate students for this summer. Dr.Klein is confident they will reach their goal before the summer.

“The campaign online is over but the campaign continues with direct contribution to the Kean University foundation,” said Klein. “The campaign is still open (through the foundation) and we welcome support as little as $10 and $25 so we’ll get closer to our goal,”

If you want to learn more on how you can contribute to the fund contact Dr.Klein at Information about the now closed online campaign is at


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