Edina, Minn. (Feb. 1, 2010) – World Without Genocide, a non-governmental organization based in Edina, has launched ten book clubs throughout the Twin Cities focused on books about genocide. The project, titled Reading for a World Without Genocide, began last month at nine local libraries, with one group meeting at the Guthrie Theatre.World Without Genocide advocates for an end to genocide and mass atrocities through protection of innocent people at risk, prevention of genocide and violence, prosecution of perpetrators, and remembrance of those whose lives and cultures have been destroyed.
Reading for a World Without Genocide is the first club of its kind in the area. Each group meets monthly to discuss a previously-selected book about a specific genocide. Each genocide is covered for four months, with the initial four months focusing on the Holocaust. Reading material has been planned through spring of 2011 and concentrates on the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo.
Selected texts will cover a variety of perspectives and genres; the Holocaust readings include a memoir, a one-act play, and two non-fiction works by a social psychologist and a Guggenheim fellow.
In addition to monthly discussions, two special events are planned. Saturday, March 27, book club members are invited to attend a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank at the Park Square Theatre of St. Paul, followed by a post-play discussion. Cost to book club members for this event is $20 per person. On Saturday, May 1, a conference titled “From the Holocaust to Darfur: Our Responsibility to Protect” will be held at St. Paul Capitol.
Reading for a World Without Genocide currently has more than 120 people in four of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts.
Executive Director of World Without Genocide, Dr. Ellen Kennedy, plans to expand membership into the other four districts within the year.
“There is enormous interest in this program. People are eager to read and learn more, and particularly to learn why the words ‘never again,’ said after the Holocaust, have become ‘over and over again,’ as genocides continue to happen. So many people want to understand what ordinary individuals can do to make a difference, and that’s one of the goals of this program,” Dr. Kennedy said.
To register for Reading for a World Without Genocide, readers can send an email with their contact information and zip code to [email protected] Participants are asked to be over 16 years old. For more information about World Without Genocide, visit www.worldwithoutgenocide.org or call 952-693-5206.