Reclaiming Our Humanity: Lessons of the Holocaust for Today

Date: June 8-12, 2020
Location: Jackson, Mississippi

The TOLI-sponsored four-day seminar in Jackson, Mississippi will focus on the exclusionary polices of Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow laws operating during the same time period in the United States. By exploring the seminar’s overarching themes of humanization and dehumanization, teachers will be encouraged to make the kinds of connections they will later invite their students to make. Making these connections in the past can help students better understand the present and the challenges they face when working for a just and humane society. The seminar will include video testimony by Holocaust survivor Irving Roth and then turn to the vibrancy of contemporary Jewish life in Jackson, including a visit to Beth Israel Synagogue. The focus will then turn to Mississippi’s past, with a visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, where all pathways lead to a central section called “This Little Light of Mine” emphasizing the role of each individual in making a difference. Both historical eras will be examined through the lens of resilience in the face of systemic oppression, providing participants with what TOLI calls “a pedagogy of hope.”


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  • Tracei Willis

    Tracei Willis is a reader, writer, thinker, and facilitator of 9th grade learners in Louisville, MS. She has been teaching her students about the Holocaust since the beginning of her career in 2005, but her entire approach changed dramatically the summer of 2016 when she attended The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights in New York City. Tracei spoke about the change in her teaching methods at the plenary session of the NWP convention in St. Louis in November of 2017.  Tracei also travelled to Austria in March 2018 to attend an international TOLI seminar and study alongside teachers from around the world.

  • Wendy Zagray Warren

    For over 25 years, Wendy Zagray Warren has facilitated learning opportunities for first graders through graduate students in Ohio, Wisconsin, Montana and Kentucky. She became involved with the National Writing Project in 2003, serving on local and national leadership teams. While teaching middle school, Wendy realized the importance of Holocaust education as vehicle for awakening empathy and allowing students to consider their own humanity. This and her growing commitment to Indian Education for All, a Montana educational mandate, drew her to the work of the Holocaust Educators Network in 2009. Since 2011, she has co-facilitated the Montana Satellite Seminar, Worlds Apart but Not Strangers: Holocaust Education and Indian Education for All. In 2015, Wendy earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She is honored to serve as Satellite Program Coordinator, working in community with the brilliant educators who facilitate Satellite Seminars around the nation.


For more information about The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights (TOLI), please contact

TOLI is located at 58 East 79th Street in Manhattan. (get directions)