What We Do

HHRC is a Holocaust and human rights resource center dedicated to education, exhibition, and advocacy in classrooms and communities throughout Maine.

EducationGetting to the Bottom of Intolerance

Maranacook Middle School student ponders Nazi propaganda in Course 360º

Maranacook Middle School student ponders Nazi propaganda in Course 360º

The HHRC is committed to providing high quality, free educational programming to schools throughout the state of Maine in the subject areas of Holocaust and human rights. Educational workshops are flexible and can be brought to schools or presented at the Michael Klahr Center, located on the campus of the University of Maine in Augusta. For the 2013-2014 school year, we will be offering workshops that have been created by nationally and internationally renowned organizations whose primary focus is to produce effective educational programming: Facing History and Ourselves, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  All workshops will adhere to Common Core Standards.

About Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, anti-Semitism, and prejudice and nurtures democracy through education programs worldwide. Through a rigorous investigation of the events that led to the Holocaust, as well as other recent examples of genocide and mass violence, students in a Facing History class learn to combat prejudice with compassion, indifference with participation, and myth and misinformation with knowledge.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all fifty states, including a website that features more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians. Created Equal is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ExhibitionImages That Stick, Stories That Speak

A visitor encounters a child of the Holocaust via interactive touchscreen.

A visitor encounters a child of the Holocaust via interactive touchscreen.

At museums and resource centers worldwide, the typical visitor moves quickly, skimming the surface – thirty seconds on average for any exhibit. What’s learned? What lasts? Did the encounter inspire awareness, challenge assumptions, excite a response?

To complement Maine sculptor Robert Katz’s internationally celebrated piece, Were The House Still Standing, HHRC’s revolving galleries and mixed-media installations combine with interactive exhibits and smart classrooms to engage the spectator on multiple levels in diverse styles.

Series 360º offers a bi-annual series of films, lectures, community roundtables, and teacher workshops – all free and open to the public – augmented by traveling art exhibits and special events, such as our April 2010 stage production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

AdvocacyStimulating Social Conscience

Protesting the desecration of an Islamic Mosque in Lewiston, July 2006

Protesting the desecration of an Islamic Mosque in Lewiston, July 2006

When does a Holocaust and human rights resource center move beyond education and exhibition to activism?

When we see a Nazi swastika scrawled on the wall of a neighborhood synagogue, or racist slurs on street signs, what should we do? What can we do? Are such anonymous incidents inevitable? Impossible to prevent? Or are we all touched by even one hateful utterance, all of us implicated in any public act of intolerance?

Until enlightened education can immobilize hatred at its source, or at least refute its powers of speech, we believe that citizenship in a democracy requires us to speak out – through marches, protest rallies, letters to the press, advocacy in the halls of state government.

Silence encourages the perpetrator – a way of tolerating intolerance. By advocating in public against bigotry and bullying, we choose our battles, and model the kind of community we want for ourselves – and for Maine.