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The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI)

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project and UMass Amherst are happy to announce The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) satellite seminar based at UMass Amherst will resume this summer. The seminar will meet in person at UMass, including dorm lodging for those who would need it. It will include new workshops focused on social justice and participatory action projects with students.

Examining Our Shared Humanity: Holocaust Education and Social Responsibility brings together teachers from across New England and beyond who are looking to deepen their practice of teaching the Holocaust, other genocides, and helping their students consider the role of social responsibility. Participants will take an inquiry-based, multi-disciplinary approach to their study of the Holocaust and more recent genocides. They will use writing as both a reflective practice and a vehicle for engaging with texts and film in order to understand how stories can inspire resistance, remembrance, and reflection on tragic historical events. As a learning community, teachers will collaborate to analyze and reflect on questions of morality, ethics, and social responsibility. In addition to teacher-facilitators, local scholars and authors who have used writing to explore and understand atrocities, their causes, and their impact will present to the group. Teachers will return to their classrooms with the tools they need to engage students in meaningful study of these difficult issues, and to help them develop critical thinking skills, deepen their writing, and consider their own responsibility and ways they might positively impact the world around them.

This TOLI seminar is offered at no cost to educators. It will run from July 18-23 (Monday-Saturday) from 8:30 AM-7:30 PM on Monday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM on Tuesday through Thursday, 8:30 AM-8:00 PM on Friday, and 9:00 AM-noon on Saturday (EST). Please share this flyer with your colleagues and register online. If you have questions, please contact the seminar co-directors, Cara Crandall at or Momodou Sarr at