2018 Events

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide: The Voice and Struggles of a Child Survivor

Monday November 5, 2:30 – 3:45 pm, Fretwell 100

After the Holocaust, survivors and representatives of the international community solemnly intoned a "never again." Yet, genocides became a recurring reality in the Cold War and post-Cold War worlds. The 1994 genocide in the East African country of Rwanda is but one of too many examples. In roughly three months, the Hutu Power perpetrators slaughtered some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu opponents.

Mugabo Yves will speak about these mass murders in Rwanda from the perspective of a child survivor. In April 1994, he was seven years old. His Tutsi family lived in the capital, Kigali, which became one of the key sites of the killings. His mother and many close relatives perished.

Yves survived with the help of Hutu civilians. He fled to a refugee camp in neighboring Uganda, where he stayed for eight years before he managed to immigrate to the United States along with his surviving sisters. He now resides in Charlotte.

Children's Desks and Blackboard at Kabgayi Hospital - Genocide Site - Outside Muhanga (Gitarama) – Rwanda. Photograph courtesy of Adam Jones


A warning from history and a story of survival: Lecture and dialogue with Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz

October 24, 4 – 5:15 pm, Rowe Hall room 130

Susan Cernyak-Spatz, who is a Professor Emerita of German Literature at UNC Charlotte, was born in Vienna in 1922 and moved with her family to Berlin in 1929, where they witnessed Hitler’s rise to power. As she has commented in her recent public lectures, in present-day America she sees certain developments that are alarmingly reminiscent of the bigotry and fear-mongering; right-wing nationalism and populism; and hate-filled mobs and rhetoric of Berlin and Vienna in her youth.

Susan's family fled to Prague in March 1938. Her father managed to escape to Belgium, but the Nazis arrested and eventually deported Cernyak-Spatz and her mother. She survived Auschwitz-Birkenau and the women’s concentration camp of Ravensbrück. Her mother died in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

In July 1946, Cernyak-Spatz emigrated to the United States. She completed a dissertation on German Holocaust literature in 1971. In 2005, Dr. Cernyak-Spatz published her memoirs, copies of which will be available at the talk. Dr. Cernyak-Spatz will speak not only as a survivor but as a teacher and academic whose professional career was closely related to the horrors she experienced.

Our Department (Global Studies) is co-sponsoring a five-part series of events on Bosnia, from September 12 to October 22. The final two sessions:

Wed., Oct. 17: “Presidential Election Results and What They Mean for Bosnia.” Panel discussion with participants to be announced later.

Mon., Oct. 22, Center City: A discussion with Mirsad Hadžikadić about his campaign experiences.

More information


Events earlier in 2018

A warning from history and a story of survival

Lecture and dialogue with Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz

February 20    ♦    11 am – 12:15    ♦    Cone University Center, McKnight Hall




April 2    /    5:30 pm    /    Rowe Hall 130 

Yazidi Survivors of ISIS Occupation Speak Out

Panel discussion with representatives of Yazda, "a multinational organization established in August 2014 by members of the Yazidi diaspora in the US and Europe as an immediate response to the genocidal attacks by ISIS on Yazidis and other desperate ethno-religious minorities in Iraq and Syria." 

The speakers:

Salema Mirza, deputy executive director of women affairs for Yazda; fled ISIS-controlled Sinjar in northern Iraq, which was the site of a massacre by ISIS in 2014. “Before I travelled to the U.S., I worked in many NGOs that dealt with IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Iraq. Prior to that, I was working as a teacher with children who are at high school and elementary level. I also worked as a social worker with women who suffered from trauma, in addition to serving as a coordinator and program manager of Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights.”

Jamal Aldakhi, also from Sinjar, where ISIS raided and looted all my stores and took everything. I lost about half million dollars due to the ISIS attack. I was able to migrate to the U.S. through my brother, who worked for the U.S. army as an interpreter in Iraq. Currently, I attend English classes in Lincoln, NE hoping to learn English so I can advocate more effectively for my people.”

Photo: Yazidi refugees from ISIS violence, Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan, August 2014

Co-sponsored by UNC Charlotte's Center for HGHR Studies, Data Science for Social GoodWomen's & Gender Studies Program, the Departments of Religious Studies and of Philosophy, and the Office of International Programs; and by Johnson C. Smith University's Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Thursday April 12, 2:00 – 3:15pm / Rowe 130 (UNCC campus)

Conversation with Susan Stein, creator of “Etty”

Ms. Stein is presenting a full performance of "Etty" on the evening of April 11 at Temple Beth El / Shalom Park, as part of the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust rememberance day) activites. 


More information


 Co-sponsored by the Departments of Theater, Languages and Culture Studies, English, and Global Studies


April 27, 2018, 7:30 pm, Robinson Hall (UNCC main campus): Symphony of Diversity

The Chamber Orchestra presents a concert celebrating the diversity of thought, background, life experience, culture, ethnicity, and orientation that exists in American society. The UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra will be joined by other University students; 31 high school students from Charlotte, Greensboro, Fayetteville and Boone; members of the Charlotte community; and four students from Givat Washington Academic College in Israel. The program features music by composers from Latvia, Mexico, Italy, and the United States, as well as the composer Suad Bushnaq, who grew up in Jordan of Syrian and Bosnian/Palestinian parentage, studied in Canada, and now lives in North Carolina. Dr. Jonathan Govias, director of orchestras, will conduct.


Elmer Bernstein: Overture to Magnificent Seven
Clara Schumman: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.7
Sara Davis Buechner, piano
Jose Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
Christine Donkin: "Frosted Pane" from Four Poems for Orchestra (US Premiere)
Stella Sung: Chorale from the Partita for Orchestra  (Erica Hefner, Guest Conductor)
Aaron Copland: "Hoedown" from Rodeo

Tickets are $8 and free for all CoA+A students.

We are grateful to our program partners:

Steinway Piano Gallery
UNC Charlotte Multicultural Resource Center
American Studies Program
Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Center for the Study of the New South
Chancellor's Diversity Fund 
Department of Global Studies
Office of International Programs
Women and Gender Studies
Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte

The Center for HGHR Studies is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2018 Feminist Decolonial Politics Workshop

May 22 - 25, 2018, UNC Charlotte. More information: Dr. Elisabeth Paquette, epaquet1@uncc.edu

Summer 2018 Study Abroad to Berlin, Krakow, and Auschwitz