Upcoming Activities

Regional Networks Meetings

 

To support and inspire broad civic action on local human rights issues, the Coalition has developed Regional Networks. By engaging with these dynamic networks, members can coordinate and elevate their individual efforts to remember common histories and address their legacies today. Regional Networks build the capacity of emerging initiatives in each region and strengthen the collective memory of past struggles for human rights. To facilitate this, the Networks meet regularly to explore opportunities for cross-regional exchange and collaboration, providing members with the unique experience of sharing methodologies and best practices across regions. Below are upcoming meeting dates; more details are forthcoming. For more information on Networks and how to join meetings, please contact Linda Norris.

The Latin American and Caribbean Network met in Colombia from October 2-4, 2018 to develop a communications and advocacy campaign around enforced disappearances.

The Middle East and North Africa Network will convene in Beirut, Lebanon from October 22-24, 2018 to continue work on digital mapping and to explore the development of more physical Sites of Conscience in the region.

The European Network will meet in Monte Sole, Italy from November 13-16, 2018 to examine the notion of individual responsibility, particularly as European nations continue to struggle with issues such as migration, xenophobia, and a rise in nationalistic sentiments.

 

 

Recent Activities

Memorialization and the Marginalized in Asia:
A Two-Part Webinar Series from Sri Lanka and Nepal

Hosted by the Asia Regional Network,  Open to all Coalition members

The main objective of the webinars is to share memorialization experiences between victims/marginalized communities in Sri Lanka and Nepal. Each webinar will provide a space for participants to share their experiences participating in Body Mapping workshops (Sri Lanka) and Embroidery workshops (Nepal).

  • Friday, September 21st at 5pm in Sri Lanka / 5:15pm in Kathmandu / 7:30am in New York
  • Tuesday, September 25th at 5pm in Sri Lanka / 5:15pm in Kathmandu time / 7:30am in New York

Please RSVP by September 20, 2018 by emailing: coalition@sitesofconscience.org.

Conscience Conversations, Online Dialogue Series

Making Oral History Matter
July 31, 2018 – 6:00am-7:00am (EST-NY)

With a focus on oral history, in this Conscience Conversation we spoke with members who have worked on peace building in hostile settings, including Mitzi Austero of Nonviolence International Southeast Asia. Will Walker from Cooperstown Graduate Program also provided an overview of best practices regarding oral histories in a broad range of settings.

Listen to Recording Here

 

Conscience Conversations, Online Dialogue Series

Conversations on the Border:
Engaging Communities on Immigration and Other Contentious Issues
May 15, 2018

Looking for new ways to engage visitors on contentious issues? This Conscience Conversation brought together Angelina Martinez, a Phd candidate from the University of Texas at El Paso’s Borderlands Public History Lab, and Lorena Andrade, Director of La Mujer Obrera, to discuss how they are utilizing the past to address contemporary issues surrounding immigration and education equity in their community.

Borderlands is a participating member in From Brown v. Board to Fergusonthe Coalition’s three year initiative designed to foster dialogue on incarceration, education and civil rights. With ten other members, the site recently contributed to the first of two program toolkits on innovative ways to facilitate dialogues about divisive issues within communities. Their specific model was derived from traditional indigenous cultural practices in the Americas, and focused on issues raised among borderland people and communities. You can access the entire toolkit, which focuses on dialogue models, here.

The conversation focused on the challenges and successes of developing these models; offered advice on how Sites of Conscience can best cultivate dynamic partnerships with community organizations and youth activists; and provided an opportunity to share work on how issues of immigration and activism function on the border.

Listen to Recording Here

 

Asia Regional Network Meeting
April 23-25, 2018
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Laura Perez of the Memorial Museum of the Dominican Resistance skyping in to the Asia Regional Meeting to share lessons learned from her museum’s work with LGBT communities.

Sites of Conscience from across Asia – including members in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nepal and India – met in Phnom Penh to learn new skills to engage marginalized communities that were victims of past struggles for justice so they can participate in memory processes and incorporate their narratives into official accounts.

Visitors at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

In addition, participants visited Kraing Ta Chan, a former “security center” under the Khmer Rouge that was used to jail, torture and execute perceived enemies of the regime. Today, Kraing Ta Chan (KTCSC) is a Site of Conscience, a place where survivors can tell their stories and others, particularly children, can learn from them. Members also visited Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school used as a torture and detention center by the Khmer Rouge. An estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned there; of them, there are only 12 known survivors.

 

 

Global Reparations Summit
March 25-26, 2018
Serbia, Belgrade

Organized by the Coalition’s Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation, the Global Reparations Summit brought together approximately 80 victims’ associations, human rights activists, experts in transitional justice and other relevant stakeholders from 35 countries around the world. Summit participants highlighted key and common challenges in the development and implementation of reparation programs as well as identified widely-applicable solutions and ways forward at the national and international levels.

 

 

International Educator’s Workshop
Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation
January 15-18, 2018
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This workshop brought together educators, project partners and expert consultants from four continents to explore memorialization-based approaches in education programs about mass atrocity. The workshop’s objectives were: 1) to share experiences, ideas, and practices on the teaching/learning about mass atrocities in the participants’ respective countries, especially using non-traditional methodologies, such as oral history, intergenerational dialogue and art; 2) to highlight GIJTR partner DC-Cam’s approaches and lessons learned in teaching genocide education in Cambodia; and 3) to refine the participants’ country-specific plans of action, with focused discussions on country-specific challenges and opportunities. Participants received training in methodologies such as oral history collection and intergenerational dialogue and discussed topics related to curriculum reform and resource development.

 

Together We Respond: A Virtual Conference on Memory and Human Rights Today
December 11, 2017
Members: Free
Non-members: $25 for one session; $40 for two sessions; $60 for three sessions
The rise in nationalist movements across the globe has grave implications for those working in human rights. Just following the first anniversary of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, this virtual conference provided opportunities for Coalition members and others to share thoughts about the role of Sites of Conscience in this new environment, gain insights from members in regions with extensive experience working in hostile settings, and learn the latest tools for effective visitor engagement as well as self-care strategies for individuals and workplaces.

For more information on sessions and speakers, click here.

 

Youth Engagement Summit
From Brown v. Board to Ferguson: Fostering Dialogue on Education, Incarceration and Civil Rights
November 10-12, 2017
National Civil Rights Museum
Memphis, TN, USA

Sixty-three years after Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, education equity remains elusive. Schools often remain segregated in practice, and Black and Latino students face unequal educational opportunities.

In October 2015, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience launched a three-year initiative, From Brown v. Board to Ferguson: Fostering Dialogue on Education, Incarceration and Civil Rights, with generous support from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. Through this grant, 11 Coalition members and their community partners are creating dynamic public engagement programs focused on youth with the goal of fostering much-needed dialogue on race, education equity and incarceration in the context of civil rights history.

Additionally, the project trains and works with young people (ages 15-25) to assist them in establishing their own civic engagement programs at local museums, equipping them with current organizing strategies so that they can engage their communities beyond their dialogue sessions. To this end, the Coalition hosted a Youth Engagement Summit in November 2017 at the National Civil Rights Museum, at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assasination. Over two dozen young people attended the summit, receiving training and guidance from dialogue and civic engagement experts, including nationally recognized social media activist April Reign.

For more information about the event, please contact Project Manager Tramia Jackson. Follow the project at #BrownToFerguson

 

“Engaging Youth in Europe Today”
European Regional Network Meeting
November 16-19, 2017
Terezín, Czech Republic

European Sites of Conscience bring people together across difference to learn from the past and address local issues facing communities today. During their 2017 annual meeting, hosted by Terezín Memorial in the Czech Republic, the group focused on sharing experiences and best practices engaging with youth. Special focus was also given to discussing opportunities associated with the Network’s recent decision to become a legally registered entity in Europe, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience – Europe.

For more information, please contact Global Networks Program Director Linda Norris.

 

 

 

Conscience Conversations
Making Change Through Hiring
October 30, 2017 – 12:30pm (EST-NY)

How can historic sites build stronger communities through their hiring practices? Sites of Conscience do not only make change through public programming; acting with intention as employers can help meet the larger movement’s mission as well. This Conscience Conversation brought together Pier 21 (Canada) whose “Welcome Home to Canada” program has helped more than 150 immigrants find work, and Eastern State Penitentiary (USA) who has hired returned citizens to work as tour guides at the museum. To listen to a recording of the session, please visit: https://sitesofconscience.adobeconnect.com/pjaemfi2qy38/

 

For more information about the Conscience Conversations dialogue series, please email Program Manager for Methodology and Practice Braden Paynter.

 

“Strategic Planning in Latin America”
Latin American and Caribbean Regional Network Meeting
September 18-21, 2017
Peru

The 2017 Latin American and Caribbean Regional Network Meeting focused on updating the region’s strategic plan. During the meeting, participants examined an evaluation of the Network recently completely by an outside consultant and developed future opportunities for group collaboration and engagement.

For more information, please contact Global Networks Program Director Linda Norris.

 

“Mapping Your Truth:Body-mapping and Violence Prevention Workshop in Sri Lanka”
August 2017
Memory processes such as body-mapping can serve as truth-telling projects in repressive environments that are highly surveilled because they are considered non-threatening arts initiatives. In August 2017, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and member sites Human Rights Media Center (South Africa) and Institute for Social Development (Sri Lanka) hosted a five-day body-mapping for fifteen Sri Lankan women who are survivors of violence. Participants from the North, South and East of the country used the workshop to reflect on their lives, experiences of violence and hopes for the future by mapping out these reflections on life-size body maps.Project partners shared examples of how body-maps have been used as advocacy and lobbying tools for different rights-based claims in other contexts and also as catalysts for dialogue on the futility of violence and pledges for the non-repetition of violence. On the last day of the workshop, participants hosted an exhibition for themselves. The body-maps will eventually be developed into a travelling exhibition that will be launched at a local venue. Following the workshop, participants also engaged with a psychosocial specialist who shared strategies for self-care and ongoing healing processes.For more information, please contact Senior Director of the Global Transitional Justice Initiative Ereshnee Naidu-Silverman.

 

 

Incarceration, Internment and Institutionalization Working Group Call
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – 10:00 am (EST-US)

To encourage collaboration on emerging global themes that cut across regions, the Coalition regularly facilitates global working groups to enable cross-regional exchange and collaboration. Currently there are three active working groups: 1) Environmental Justice; 2) Immigration; and 3) Incarceration, Institutionalization and Internment. 

The Incarceration, Institutionalization and Internment Working Group brings together former prisons, places of detention, health and welfare institutions and places of internment. Current participants include Cultural Heritage without Borders-Albania, which is working on transforming a Communist-era prison into a Site of Conscience; Eastern State Penitentiary, a leading prison and criminal justice museum; Pennhurst Memorial & Preservation Alliance, which is preserving a state hospital where the intellectually and developmentally disabled lived under inhumane conditions; and IDEA, a group of leprosy heritage locations.

During this call, participants discussed opportunities for collaboration as well as how Sites of Conscience can best create platforms for institutionalized and incarcerated individuals to tell their stories of anguish and triumph.

For more information on the group, please contact Global Networks Program Manager Linda Norris at lnorris@sitesofconscience.org.

 

Immigration Working Group Call
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – 10:00 am (EST-US)

To encourage collaboration on emerging global themes that cut across regions, the Coalition regularly facilitates global working groups to enable cross-regional exchange and collaboration. Currently there are three active working groups: 1) Environmental Justice; 2) Immigration; and 3) Incarceration, Institutionalization and Internment.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island

Migration has been growing significantly in recent years and, while the numbers of migrants and types of reception systems across countries vary, this fact presents a significant global challenge. Some countries receiving migrants are experiencing a crisis of values, and key principles of democracy, human rights, participation and rule of law need staunch defense. At the same time, the migrants themselves often struggle with the challenges of fleeing war, poverty and natural disaster. Our societies are becoming more and more multicultural and our future depends on our ability to develop and sustain intercultural dialogue. Understanding (and accepting) other cultures and customs is integral to our collective future, but how do we best achieve this?

This working group serves as a platform for members dealing with these issues to share resources and best practices, find new connections and establish a group project around these subjects. For more information on the group, please contact Global Networks Program Manager Linda Norris at lnorris@sitesofconscience.org.

 

“Sites of Conscience: Looking to the Past to Build a Rights-Based Future”
African Regional Network Meeting
May 29-June 1, 2017
Kigali, Rwanda
Regional Workshop Host:National Commission for the Fight Against GenocideKigali Genocide Memorial

This unique gathering convened members of the African Sites of Conscience Regional Network, a cohort of Rwandan survivors, activists and practitioners, and professionals from the field of heritage and memorialization. Participants engaged in training and exchange on innovative practices in site interpretation and dialogue-based public programs.

The gathering also offered participants the opportunity to join panel and small group discussions on ways to engage communities in memorialization and advocacy initiatives across Africa, and to exchange and promote model practices for fostering dynamic and engaging memory projects, including intergenerational programs and exhibitions. The meeting included visits to local sites of memory and was an opportunity for participants to establish new alliances and partnerships.

For more information, please contact Global Networks Program Director Linda Norris at lnorris@sitesofconscience.org.

 

 

“The Voices of Victims: Oral History, Memory and Justice in MENA”

MENA Regional Network Meeting
May 14-18, 2017
Hammamet and Tunis, Tunisia

Regional Workshop Hosts: Association for Justice and RehabilitationMediterranean Forum for MemoryTunisian Institute for Democracy and Development

This regional workshop gathered representatives from approximately 14 organizations in nine countries from the Middle East and North Africa. Together they focused on the best ways to use oral histories
to activate memory and justice efforts, building on current Tunisian initiatives that incorporate victims’ voices into transitional justice processes. During the workshop, the MENA Regional Network also presented a pilot version of a digital map of sites of human rights violations in the region. The workshop included a training on oral history collection, which will enable the network to incorporate survivors’ testimonies into the map and also to engage audiences online more effectively. Finally, the workshop included network strategic planning, including how to move forward with current joint projects and explore potential future areas of collaboration.

For more information, please contact Global Networks Program Director Linda Norris at lnorris@sitesofconscience.org

 

 

 

 

GIJTR – Transitional Justice and Atrocity Prevention Workshop
May 8-11, 2017
Conakry, Guinea

Since its independence in 1958, Guinea has experienced ongoing cycles of violence characterized by massive human rights violations and ethnic and political tensions that were further exacerbated by authoritarian rulers who failed to hold perpetrators accountable and allowed a culture of impunity to flourish. As the country rebuilds in the wake of these cyclic patterns of violence, the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation is offering a series of workshops for CSOs in Guinea on transitional justice mechanisms that provide opportunities for communities to come to terms with the past by uncovering the silences and myths about the violations that occurred, recognizing and reintegrating survivors into their communities, ensuring accountability and rebuilding a culture of human rights based on the rule of law.

 

This first workshop brought together seven victims’ groups from three regions as well as twelve journalists for a four-day workshop on transitional justice, atrocity prevention and community engagementParticipants received updates on transitional justice processes in the country, training on trauma and working with victims of human rights violations, and help in developing media strategies. “This the first time I have been trained on transitional justice,” said one participant at the close the workshop. “This was a very positive experience for me. And I am excited to move ahead.”

 

 

Immigration Working Group Call
March 28, 2017

To encourage collaboration on emerging global themes that cut across regions, the Coalition regularly facilitates global working groups to enable cross-regional exchange and collaboration. Currently there are three active working groups: 1) Environmental Justice; 2) Immigration; and 3) Incarceration, Institutionalization and Internment.
On March 28, 2017, the Immigration Working Group met to discuss collaboration between member sites in countries that are addressing the current refugee crisis – be they countries that are welcoming refugees, witnessing their nationals leaving, or experiencing an influx of migrants travelling through their territories. For more information on the group, please contact Global Networks Program Manager Linda Norris at lnorris@sitesofconscience.org.

 

 

“Memory and Exodus, Past and Present”
European Regional Network Meeting
October 18-21, 2016
Barcelona, Spain
Host: Memorial Democràtic

The 2016 European Sites of Conscience regional meeting centered on how Sites of Conscience address exile in the past and present, and how sites can serve as a space to hold productive conversations around these issues. The meeting was grounded in historical examples from the Catalan experience and the contemporary forms of exile and migration currently affecting Europe. Through a mix of site visits, internal presentations and a public event, participants explored the role that Sites of Conscience can play in their communities to galvanize conversations and engagement around exile and migration.

“The network meeting was inspirational,” said Christelle Dethy, who oversees exhibitions and cultural projects at Le Bois du Cazier. “It gave us an opportunity to pause our everyday work in order to share and learn from other Sites of Conscience.”

 

 

Annual Board Meeting and GIJTR Partners Meeting
October 17-21, 2016
Antigua, Guatemala 

The Coalition hosted two meetings in Antigua, Guatemala in October 2017, one for esteeme
Board Membersand another for partners of the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR). Participants discussed developments among Sites of Conscience worldwide and also new opportunities to design and implement holistic, collaborative, survivor-focused initiatives in countries in transition.

In addition, site visits were made to the laboratories of GIJTR partner, the Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG), which provided firsthand insights into the processes of scientific forensic investigation into gross human rights violations and the identification of the disappeared. Participants also visited Coalition members Archivo Histórico de la Policia Nacional and Casa de la Memoria “Kaji Tulam,” where they were led on a tour by a student docent.

 

 

“El presente se discute con memoria”
Latin American and Caribbean Regional Network Meeting
September 13-16, 2016
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Host: Memoria Abierta
The Latin American and Caribbean regional meeting focused on Sites of Conscience advocacy strategies for the promotion of human rights – strategies that use the history of dictatorship and internal armed conflict in Latin America to make meaningful change in the present. Through a mix of presentations on the most pressing contemporary human rights issues in Latin America, a site visit and internal discussions, participants explored the role that Sites of Conscience can play in creating social and political change. The meeting took place at the Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos ex-ESMA, the former campus of an Argentine Navy educational facility that was the most emblematic site of detention and torture during the last Argentine dictatorship, a space that the Coalition advocated for the preservation and activation of for many years.