UNESCO, in partnership with the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, the American Federation of Teachers and the American Jewish Committee launched a US-wide online professional training programme for school teachers, superintendents and principals to address the antisemitism, the distortion and denial of the Holocaust in schools.
Antisemitism is an attack on our shared humanity. It must be confronted head-on, without naivety and with perseverance. This is the commitment of UNESCO, the UN agency mandated to promote education on the Holocaust and the prevention of genocide. We are proud to support American teachers to raise young people’s awareness of the nature and impact of this toxic hate speech and ideology that drive discrimination.
Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director General
UNESCO and its partners’ new “Shine a Light” online training course will be open to the 1.7 million members of the American Federation of Teachers, and they will earn professional credits for taking each module. Participants will develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to teach about antisemitism and to dismantle antisemitic stereotypes. They will also learn strategies to address antisemitic incidents in schools, and to respond effectively to conspiracy theories including Holocaust denial and distortion.
Educators will also have the opportunity to learn from international and U.S. experts, and to understand how to apply pedagogies and learning approaches based on human rights and the principles of global citizenship education to counter prejudice and hate speech. They will access to resources from UNESCO and the OSCE/ODIHR, as well as testimonies and learning activities from the USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness programme to address antisemitism through social and emotional learning.
This project is led by the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Education of the University of Southern California. UNESCO’s partners in designing, funding and facilitating the course are the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and Shine A Light.