The long standing Pacific Lutheran University tradition of exposing its students to ethical issues on a personal level is well known, and the community is invited to take part in the 6th Biannual Wang Center Symposium’s presentation of the Legacies of the Shoah on Feb. 20 and 21.
To commemorate 20 years since the Rwandan genocide and four decades of Holocaust studies at PLU, the symposium will also launch a new minor for students, the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program. Through this program, the university is hoping to continue to mold students who are well versed in proper ethical behavior.
PLU takes the idea of ethics very seriously; so seriously in fact that Lutes were recently ranked 18th in the country for producing the most volunteers to the Peace Corps. The symposium aims to help its audience understand how ethics, or a lack thereof, contributes to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The PLU mission statement outlines the importance of engaging students in “purposeful experiential learning that challenges them to make a difference in the world as they care for themselves and others.” PLU continues to stress this to students with the recent creation of the Conflict and Global Peacebuilding minor, part of the Communication department.
Events like the symposium are geared toward helping PLU students and faculty understand that there is injustice in the world, but they can make the choice to “positively impact the diverse communities in which they live,” as stated in the mission statement.
Not a stranger to hosting distinguished guests, the Wang Center Symposium will examine topics such as historical trauma with Dr. Bjorn Krondorfer, race relations with Professor Dorothy Roberts, and how to overcome crisis with Jerry White, who works in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations for President Obama.
A total of nine speakers are expected to present, and the audience will be treated to emotionally powerful presentations by experts in the fields of race, trauma, genocide and philosophy. On March 12-14, PLU will also host the annual Powell-Heller Holocaust Education Conference, which will draw on the discussion from Legacies of the Shoah.