12:00 - 1:00pm (Pacific Time) Every Tuesday.  Join us for our weekly Lunch-and-Learn series to hear children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, notable speakers on timely issues, and historical experts. 

These programs aim to present perspectives and voices that challenge and inspire people to confront bigotry, racism, and indifference, and to consider how their actions make a difference. 

Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed in these programs are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of the Holocaust Center for Humanity and its employees.   



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April marks Genocide Awareness Month and our three Lunch-and-Learn programs will each focus on a different aspect of genocide.


Love, Resilience, and Creativity during Genocide and Mass Atrocities 

Presented by Dr. Marie Berry

Tuesday, April 13 | 12pm-1pm PT | Virtual

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Over the past 15 years of studying genocide and mass atrocities, Marie Berry has interviewed more than 300 women who have survived unfathomable horrors in places like Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. While many told stories of fear, loss, and pain, what sticks with her today is how so many women also described loving deeply, finding humor, building communities, and not only surviving, but even thriving during and after the violence. 

In this talk, Dr. Berry will show how during periods of mass atrocity, human beings have long resisted through solidarity, art, non-violent direct action, and other creative strategies to reclaim their humanity together. These forms of everyday resistance are critical for us to understand to improve our ability to stop genocide and other mass atrocities going forward. 

Marie Berry is an Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and the author of “War, Women, and Power” from Cambridge University Press (2018).

Thank you to The Frances Roth & Stanley R. Schill Foundation for sponsoring this presentation

Thank you to our community partners: TWR logo    kisspng pacific lutheran university student school educati university 5aecd2103d4157.3553324915254697122509

Experiences of Syrian Women: Revolution, War, and Uncertainty

Presented by Ahed Festuk and Hope Leone

Tuesday, April 20 | 12pm-1pm PT | Virtual

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Join the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) to learn about the humanitarian crisis confronting the women of Syria in the 10th year of the brutal civil war. Learn about the situation on theHope Leone ground, MFA’s relief efforts, and hear first-hand from Ahed Festuk, an activist from Aleppo, who was among the earliest protest organizers and relief workers—and now works to deliver desperately needed aid to her native country.

This program features:
Ahed Festuk, MFA’s Manager of Humanitarian Relief, an activist from Aleppo, Syria, and one of Syria's pioneer women demonstrators. In 2019, she joined the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees as Manager of Humanitarian Relief and is a prominent member of the Syrian Women's Political Movement.

Hope Leone, MFA’s Coordinator of Development & Cultivation who previously led a student organization called No Lost Generation, founded to support Syrian refugees by promoting awareness, organizing advocacy on Capitol Hill, fundraising, and creating educational resources for refugees. 

Thank you to The Frances Roth & Stanley R. Schill Foundation for sponsoring this presentation

Thank you to community partners:  

 TWR logo   kisspng pacific lutheran university student school educati university 5aecd2103d4157.3553324915254697122509

My Family and the Rwandan Genocide

Presented by Paul Karemera

Tuesday, April 27 | 12pm-1pm PT | VirtualPaul Kameraa

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Even though they had fled Rwanda years prior to its civil war, the far-reaching events of the war and genocide still had deep impacts on Paul Karemera and his family. Paul tells the story of his family in Rwanda and Uganda, the history of Rwandan conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi people, and the events of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Paul’s grandparents on both sides of his family left their homes in Rwanda in 1959 and became refugees in neighboring Uganda.  They belonged to the Tutsi tribe – the group targeted in the Rwandan genocide. As a young student, Paul was harassed and bullied as an outsider in Uganda, despite having been born there.  Shortly after the genocide, Paul went back to Rwanda as a “returnee” to the country.  Many friends and family had not survived.  Nationwide, the genocide’s wounds were still raw. Gacaca courts for restorative justice were instituted, but many Hutu perpetrators were never apprehended. 

Paul is the newest member of the Holocaust Center’s Speakers Bureau and the first member who speaks about the Rwandan genocide. 

Thanks to our community partners: TWR logo    kisspng pacific lutheran university student school educati university 5aecd2103d4157.3553324915254697122509

Belonging, and Not Belonging: A Holocaust Survivor's Daughter in theBelonging and Not Belonging A Holocaust Survivors Daughter in the World of Horses World of Horses

Sarah Maslin Nir in conversation with Professor Sarah Zaides Rosen

Tuesday, May 4 | 12pm-1pm PT | Virtual

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Horses are symbols of power, beauty, and often social standing and for many young girls and women, they can become an all-consuming passion. For the young Sarah Maslin Nir and Sarah Zaides Rosen, this interest was much more than a passing phase—it led into a privileged world they thought they could never be part of as Jewish women and the offspring of Holocaust survivors.

“Even when I was that young, even before I fully understood what it meant when dad told me he survived the Holocaust…I knew that somehow I was an outsider in the world I had become infatuated with—the world of ponies,” noted Nir. For Rosen, it blossomed into equestrian competitions. But for both, the world of horses represented a milieu far removed from the stories of hardship they had heard from their families who had escaped the Holocaust. 

Nir is an award-winning staff reporter for The New York Times and author of the acclaimed, “Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal.”

Rosen received her PhD at the University of Washington and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the UW as well as the Director of the Graduate Fellowship Program. She raised and trained her Hanoverian Warmblood, Misha, since he was just 5 years old. 

Fleeing Germany: My Family’s StoryFleeing Germany My Familys Story

Presented by Steve Pruzan

Tuesday, May 11 12pm-1pm Virtual

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Seattle attorney Steve Pruzan is a long way from his grandparent’s farm in Germany, yet he feels a deep responsibility to keep their story of escape to the United States alive.  

Steve’s grandparents, Max and Helene Schlonau, owned a large farm in Warmsen, Germany for many generations, a gathering place for nearby family. His grandfather, Max Schlonau, served in World War I. He had  studied agriculture, enlarging his land holdings, and employed the most updated agricultural methods, even inventing a breeding method for cattle. He was a leader in the area and in the small Jewish community in Warmsen.

Max and Helene married in 1923 and Steve’s mother, Inge was born in 1924. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, things got progressively more difficult for the Schlonau family. Inge had to take a five-hour train ride to Hanover to attend a Jewish school as Jewish children were not allowed in German schools. Max was arrested on Kristallnacht and held at Buchenwald Concentration Camp for three weeks until his wife paid a fine to get him released.

By 1938, they had made plans to leave Germany. Helene had a cousin who was already settled in Seattle, Dr. Hans Lehmann. Lehman provided the Schlonaus with an affidavit, and with Max’s agriculture experience, the family was able to expedite the visa process.

They sailed from the Netherlands on September 1, 1939. The Schlonaus family settled in Seattle where Dr. Lehmann was a prominent physician and Steve’s mother, Inge attended Seattle University, graduating with a degree in nursing. She married Howard Pruzan, a Seattle attorney. 

Steve, a Legacy Speaker with the Holocaust Center, is proud to tell this story of his grandparents, his mother, and other family members who survived the Holocaust.  He has done extensive research on their lives in Germany and presents primary sources that reveal just how lucky they were to escape and immigrate to the United States. 

Click HERE to view previous Lunch-and-Learn programs

Thank you to our 2021 Lunch-and-Learn Sponsors:

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The Frances Roth & Stanley R. Schill Foundation    


Thank you to the grantors, companies, and individuals who have made this year's Lunch-and-Learn series possible. If you or your company are interested in sponsoring one or more Lunch-and-Learns throughout the year, please contact Nicole Bela: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..