28th ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH

10:00 – Kyle Matthews: Social Media, Online Hate and Incitement to violence

Kyle Matthews is the Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University. His work focuses on human rights, international security, the Responsibility to Protect, global threats, and social media and technology, and global cities. He works closely with the Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and has advised Members of Parliament on issues related to international peace and security. He previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where he was posted to the Southern Caucasus (Tbilisi), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and Switzerland (Geneva). Prior to that he worked for CARE Canada in Albania and later at its headquarters in Ottawa, where he managed various humanitarian response initiatives and peace-building projects in Afghanistan, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

13:00 – Eva Kuper: Hidden Children, Unknown Heroes

Eva was born after the start of WWII in Warsaw, Poland. She survived the war by a series of miraculous events involving luck, coincidence, but mainly as a result of the courage and humanity of several individuals, both family and virtual strangers.

She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1949 where she grew up in Montreal, “practically Canadian” with the Holocaust history always there in the background. Eva has spent her professional life in the field of education and educational administration having taught students age 3 to Concordia University and having administered several educational centres and schools.

As a retiree since 2005, Eva has served on the Boards of several organizations: among them Auberge Shalom pour Femmes for 13 years and currently for the past 7 years is a member of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Holocaust Museum where she also offers her story in testimony in to hundreds of groups of students and adults.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH

10:00 – Moses Gashirabake: Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi

Moses holds two law degrees from McGill University and an honours degree in Political Science from Concordia University. As a result of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda, Moses grew up outside his country of birth as a stateless refugee. He works in the legal profession and currently sits as a board member of the Foundation Genocide Education, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and is Chair of the Rwandan Canadian Healing Centre.

13:00 – Gina Wilson: Reconciliation

Gina Wilson is Algonquin and began her career in her First Nation community of Kitigan-Zibi as Executive Director of Health and Social Services. She joined the Federal Government in 1996 and held several senior executive positions at several departments including the Privy Council Office, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada. Gina is the recipient of the 2020 Indspire Award for her leadership and her life-long work on Indigenous issues and supporting Indigenous employees. She is the current Deputy Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth at Canadian Heritage.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH

10:00 – Dr. Raphael Cohen-Almagor: Freedom of Expression vs. Social Responsibility: Holocaust Denial in Canada

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, DPhil Oxford University; Professor and Chair in Politics, University of Hull. He has founded several organizations, including Israel’s “Second Generation to the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance” Organization; The University of Haifa Center for Democratic Studies; The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Medical Ethics Think-tank, and The University of Hull Middle East Study Group. Raphael taught at a number of universities in the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States, including Oxford, Jerusalem, Haifa, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and Nirma (India). In 2007-2008, he was Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars, and in 2019 Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London. Raphael is the author of more than 250 publications including the books The Boundaries of Liberty and Tolerance (1994), Speech, Media and Ethics (2001), The Scope of Tolerance (2006), Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side (2015) and Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism (forthcoming).

13:00 – Tommy Schnurmacher: Memories of Mom and Mayhem

Award-winning broadcaster Tommy Schnurmacher was the host of a highly rated daily three-hour radio talk show on CJAD in Montreal for more than twenty years. He is the author of a post-Holocaust memoir Make-up Tips from Auschwitz. How Vanity Saved My Mother’s Life.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH

10:00 – Dr. Matthias Becker: Understanding Online Antisemitism: Towards a New Linguistic Approach

Dr. Matthias J. Becker is a postdoc researcher at the Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at the Technical University in Berlin. Furthermore, he is affiliated to CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University and to the Vidal Sassoon Center at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His research lies within the disciplines of (pragma)linguistics, research on prejudice, and internet studies and focuses on the construction of implicit hate speech.

Dr. Becker will lead an international research project on antisemitism on mainstream news websites and social media platforms in Germany, France, and in the UK. In this 3-year pilot project, antisemitic hate speech and imagery will be analyzed based on a mixed methods approach, also integrating AI technology.

13:00 – Dr. Barbara Perry: Hate Crimes in Canada

Barbara Perry is a Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University, and the Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism. She has written extensively on hate crime. She is currently working in the areas of anti-Muslim violence, antisemitic hate crime, the community impacts of hate crime, and right-wing extremism in Canada. She is regularly called upon by policy makers, practitioners, and local, national and international media as an expert on hate crime and right-wing extremism.

15:00 – Allan Whitehorn: Remembering the Causes and Consequences of the Armenian Genocide and Confronting Denial

Alan Whitehorn is an emeritus professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada. He received his BA (York) in Political Science/History and his MA and PhD (Carleton) in political science. In the mid-seventies, he served as the research director on the David Lewis memoirs. From 1978 to 2011 he was a professor of political science at RMC. In the mid-1990s, he was the first holder of the JS Woodsworth Chair in Humanities at Simon Fraser University. As an academic, he writes on the topics of genocide, human rights, political parties and elections. As a poet, he explores the issue of genocide and its impact on Armenian-Canadian identity. His books include: The Armenian Genocide: Resisting the Inertia of Indifference (Blue Heron, Kingston, 2001) (coauthor); Ancestral Voices: Identity, Ethnic Roots and A Genocide Remembered (Hybrid, Winnipeg, 2007); Just Poems: Reflections on the Armenian Genocide (Hybrid, Winnipeg, 2009); Return to Armenia/Veradardz depi Hayastan (Lusakn, Yerevan, 2012); and The Armenian Genocide: The Essential Reference Guide (ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, 2015) (editor).

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH

10:00 – Heidi Berger: Never Again: Honouring my mother’s legacy

Heidi Berger is the founder and president of The Foundation for Genocide Education. She is also an award-winning film producer and professor of communications at Concordia University in Montreal, and the child of Holocaust survivors. She has been interviewed extensively by local and national media for her comments on how education can prevent hate and violence. The mission of the foundation is to ensure that genocide is taught to every high school student in Canada and the United States. The foundation is currently collaborating with the Quebec Ministry of Education, which is producing a universal guide on genocide to be made accessible in every high school in the province in 2021.

13:00 – Ben Bicher: Surviving the Holocaust in a Catholic Orphanage

Ben was a Jewish child hidden in a Catholic orphanage in Belgium during the Holocaust. He survived from the age of three through six in hiding. Miraculously, his immediate family
survived as well. They immigrated to Montreal shortly after the war.

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