Published on November 19, 2021
There is no shortage of individuals and groups trying to help improve understanding of the situation in Afghanistan, and to generate ideas that can promote peace and reduce the risk of escalating violence. We have been asking ourselves what I-GMAP can bring to the table that does not simply duplicate the good work that others are doing. Relying on the newest addition to the I-GMAP team (see story below about our welcoming of Abdul Waheed Ahmad as I-GMAP’s first Charles E. Scheidt Resident Practitioner), we have decided to pursue several activities.
First, on December 7, we will host a webinar “Afghan Perspectives on Risk and Resilience under Taliban Rule” that will emphasize conversations with and among Afghans, rather than experts talking about them. The webinar will bring together three young professionals who were forced to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban took control, as well as an expert in peace and security in Afghanistan. See below for biographies of the four panelists and a link to register for the webinar. Second, we are planning to include in the spring Frontiers of Prevention conference a panel that will examine more closely the particular risks faced by the Hazara community in Afghanistan, a topic that we will not be able to adequately address in the webinar. In keeping with I-GMAP’s commitment to including representatives of the groups that are being targeted, this panel will include Hazaras in conversation with experts from the academic and practitioner realms. The prioritization of topics and identification of participants for both of the above events have been informed by Waheed’s input. The other strategies will involve his work even more directly. As a Resident Fellow, he will engage in reflection, lesson-drawing and writing about his own experience in the months and years preceding the Taliban takeover, and also collaborate on research that will apply an atrocity prevention lens more explicitly to national intelligence frameworks. Through the combination of these efforts, we hope that I-GMAP will contribute to more effective global response.
This newsletter also goes out as we start the winter holiday season. Wishing you good health and good times with loved ones and some time for self-care so that we can continue our work with renewed energy and commitment.
- Max Pensky & Nadia Rubaii
Join us on Tuesday, December 7 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EST) for an opportunity to learn from four Afghans in conversation as they deconstruct the dominant narratives surrounding the Taliban seizure of power and help us better appreciate the complexities of the current context. Among the topics to be discussed will be issues related to education and other rights for women and girls, governing capacity and stability, and how to support organic development of a culture of human rights and the values of social justice. The discussion will be framed within the context of evaluating atrocity risk factors and opportunities to promote resilience. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a Q&A session toward the end of the webinar.
Date: December 9, 2021
Location: AM 189
Time: 5PM - 7PM
Corporations are fictional ‘persons’—purely creatures of law. Corporations do not have one memory, one mind, or inherent moral character—meaning that they often end up as bystanders to wrongs committed by others. The cattle cars of the French national railway—the SNCF—are synonymous with memories of the Holocaust, and the deportation of more than 76,000 Jews (and others) to concentration and death camps.
Owen Pell analyzes how U.S. litigation and proposed legislation framed a narrative of SNCF’s wartime activities that was at odds with the historical record. This analysis raises questions about how we can develop principles to help corporations better understand their responsibility to prevent genocide and mass atrocity violence—including their responsibility to remember.
Owen Pell '80 is retired Partner of Counsel at White & Case LLP in New York, where he led teams and advised corporate leaders in matters involving the interaction of multiple legal systems, the extraterritorial reach of US laws, and issues under international human rights law, including matters relating to historical reparations. Owen has handled major cases in the area of corporate social responsibility, including as to World War II and the Holocaust, South Africa during the apartheid era, and African slavery in the United States. He is President of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (AIPG), and played a key role in the founding of I-GMAP.
The Assistant Director coordinates the Mechanisms of Atrocity Prevention (MAP) project; facilitates internship and field placement experiences for students; leads the Institute’s grant writing and foundation funding efforts; and is responsible for the public-facing social media presence for the Institute. The AD will represent I-GMAP and its work to domestic and international partners, including academic, non-governmental and governmental organizations. I-GMAP seeks a highly professional team player who has strong communication skills, is a collaborative problem-solver, and is willing to be proactive and take initiative on ongoing and future Institute projects and events. A complete job description and link to apply are available here.
In case you missed the notice earlier this month, Binghamton University’s Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) and the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) are proud to announce the publication of a new policy paper, entitled Expanding the Ranks of Atrocity Prevention Actors, that offers insight into how an atrocity prevention perspective can be effectively integrated into accreditation standards and professional codes of ethics across a wide range of professions.
Expanding the Ranks of Atrocity Prevention Actors can be accessed through the Institute’s Mechanisms of Atrocity Prevention series, available on I-GMAP’s webpage (see Publications within the “Our Work” tab), and via the Open Repository at Binghamton (ORB).
Waheed Ahmad joins I-GMAP as the first Charles E. Scheidt Resident Practitioner for the period of November 2021 through April 2022. Early in his career, he worked in the Ministry of Interior and in a Directorate of Local Governance in Afghanistan. He came to Binghamton University as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016, and graduated with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 2018. After graduation, he returned to Afghanistan and obtained a position in the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC). He started as a Director of National Intelligence Coordination (2018-2020) and from January 2020 until the Taliban forcibly took control in August 2021, he was the Senior Strategic Director/Advisor in the ONSC within President Ashraf Ghani’s administration. In that role, he worked closely with the U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State officials. In that role he was responsible for a number of important national security projects, managing them within the Afghanistan government and in coordination with United States government officials. He managed to evacuate in August, only days before the final U.S. withdrawal, and two months later was able to come to the United States. Waheed brings a wealth of new expertise to the Institute. He intends to use his time at I-GMAP to reflect and write about lessons that can be drawn from the Afghan experience and how an atrocity prevention lens might inform traditional national intelligence frameworks. I-GMAP also hopes to provide him with time and space to explore his personal and professional options.
If you are interested in an example of how youth can mobilize music to build peace and counter dangerous speech, we encourage you to look at the case titled “#Kifaya | #Enough Dangerous Speech for South Sudanese: Collaborative Strategies by Musicians and Local Civil Society Organizations” which is now available on the Syracuse University Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration website. As noted in I-GMAP’s Annual Report, the teaching case authored by current I-GMAP Faculty Fellow and University at Albany Associate Professor Susan Appe, I-GMAP Co-Director Nadia Rubaii, Assistant Professor of GMAP Kerry Whigham and practitioner partner Samuel Sebit Emamnuel of Talent Initiative for Development (TIDE) of South Sudan, was selected as the winner of the Glendal E. and Alice D. Wright Prize for Conflict and Collaboration Case Studies in International Development for 2021.
I-GMAP Assistant Professor Kerry Whigham Participates in Art Is Action: Responding to Genocide through Art Panel
On September 28, Dr. Kerry Whigham participated in a panel organized by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights called Art Is Action: Responding to Genocide through Art. The panel discussion included artists and activists who shared a variety of diverse perspectives related to the long-lasting effects of mass atrocities and how art can be used as a catalyst for change.
I-GMAP Assistant Professor Kerry Whigham Gives Brown Bag Lecture for the Mauro Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba
On October 29, Dr. Kerry Whigham gave a brown bag lecture for the Mauro Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba to publicize his forthcoming book, Resonant Violence: Affect, Memory, and Activism in Post-Genocide Societies. In his lecture, Dr. Whigham explored the lasting impacts of genocidal violence and the ways in which both states and grassroots actors respond to this form of violence through memory practices and activism.
After serving 3 years as I-GMAP’s Assistant Director, Dr. Stephen Capobianco will be joining Project Over Zero as the new Operations Manager. We wish Stephen well in his new position with one of I-GMAP’s partner organizations.
We are pleased to announce that Binghamton University has approved two double degree programs that will allow students to combine the Master of Science in GMAP with degrees that provide specialized knowledge and skills that can enhance atrocity prevention. Double degree programs allow students the opportunity to earn two separate masters degrees at the same time. The program that pairs the MS in GMAP with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) will prepare graduates with budgeting, human resource management and policy analysis skills for work in governmental and nonprofit organizations. And the program that brings together MS in GMAP with a Master of Science in Systems Science will prepare individuals with greater capacity to engage in systems thinking, apply mathematical models and computer simulations, and analyze supply chains in the service of atrocity prevention. More information is available about these two programs on the I-GMAP website. Stay tuned for announcements in future newsletters of additional double degree programs and other exciting academic program initiatives.
Apply for Spring (January) 2022 Admission to the Master of Science in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (GMAP)
Binghamton University’s Master of Science in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (GMAP) is accepting applications for Spring 2022 entry. This professional degree prepares graduates to analyze risk factors, formulate strategies, and implement policies and practices to reduce the occurrence, severity, and potential for recurrence of genocides and other mass atrocities around the world. With a focus on the application of an atrocity prevention lens, the program educates students to recognize opportunities to engage in upstream (before conflict), midstream (during conflict) and downstream (post-conflict) prevention measures. Through an interdisciplinary approach integrating classroom learning, applied research, engagement with practitioners, and an intensive field placement, the program prepares graduates to be prevention actors at the micro- (individual), meso- (organizational), and macro- (societal) levels.
A key feature of Binghamton’s MS in GMAP is a funded 4- to 6-month field placement, which will normally be completed during the second year of full-time study and will provide an opportunity for students to work alongside practitioners, to apply the knowledge, skills and abilities from their coursework, and then to reflect on the experience. Another component is the Mechanisms of Atrocity Prevention research project, in which students will work alongside the staff of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) on practical research targeted to governmental and civil society clients.
The program seeks applications from a diverse group of students from around the world. Funding may be available for highly qualified applicants with financial need. Eligibility will be determined upon application to the program.
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