With more than 6,500 students representing close to 90 nationalities, Vanier College is the most culturally diverse Cégep (College) in Québec, Canada. For more than two decades Vanier College has been the only college in Québec to sponsor a weeklong event dedicated to raising awareness of the Holocaust and genocide. Each year Vanier College and the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Foundation plan a comprehensive calendar of activities involving guest-speakers, lectures, films, survivor testimony, commemoration services, as well as student sponsored events.
The symposium also offers a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary teaching at Vanier. By virtue of the fact that it concentrates on the pernicious and complex nature of genocide it presents an opportunity to introduce and underscore the relationship between critical thinking, historical inquiry, and ethical principles. At the same time, using primary source material, event organizers have sought a common ground designed to encourage students to perceive hatred as antithetical to the goals of education. The events of the symposium result in students being better able to link historical events to people's lives as well as critically examining historical documents and to express intelligent and well supported arguments.
It is also fitting and timely that the Symposium on the Holocaust and genocide takes place at Vanier College. The college was named in honour of former Canadian Governor General Georges P. Vanier, a supporter of Jewish immigration during World War II who also urged the government to pass a more liberal immigration policy to allow refugees into Canada.
To commemorate 25 years, under the theme of Justice and Accountability, the organizers felt it appropriate to invite community members to Vanier participating in meaningful dialogue regarding important contemporary, global issues such as the evolution of Canadian immigration policies, how extremism affects our youth, and hate in the digital age. We welcome you to join the conversation!
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