Alberta – Calgary Public Library and Edmonton Public Library are launching a new initiative to raise awareness and engage Albertans in critical dialogue about Human Rights and Holocaust Education. The collaboration between Alberta’s two largest municipal libraries is supported by the Isadore and Florence Burstyn Memorial Fund for Human Rights & Holocaust Education, KSW Calgary Holocaust Education & Commemoration Endowment Fund, Viewpoint Foundation and donors to the Human Rights and Holocaust Education Fund at the Calgary Public Library Foundation.
“As Holocaust survivors, our parents, Isadore and Florence Burstyn, were strong proponents of Holocaust education. Our family support of this timely and important initiative honors them and the belief that education is the key to battling all human rights violations,” says Lily Lister.
Donor funds will support Human Rights and Holocaust Education programming, enable physical exhibits and virtual tours that build on program and events, facilitate community storytelling opportunities and enhance library collections related to human rights.
“Libraries play an important role in fostering meaningful dialogue and creating inclusive, welcoming environments,” said Tracy Johnson, CEO of the Calgary Public Library Foundation. “We are honoured that a number of local families and individuals share this value and have extended their support to ensure that both Calgary and Edmonton public libraries can expand their work together and share resources.”
While enhanced Human Rights and Holocaust Education programming began in Fall 2021, the official launch of the program commences tonight with a virtual program featuring author and educator Ben M. Freeman. The free event honours International Holocaust Remembrance Day and is held in partnership with the Calgary Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton.
“The Edmonton Public Library is excited to share powerful stories about human rights with Albertans,” said Tina Thomas, Executive Director of Customer Experience at Edmonton Public Library. “Understanding history ensures our community learns of the impact the past has on today’s world, and how our present actions can shape a better future.”
To learn more, or make a donation in support of this impactful initiative, visit libraryfoundation.ca/hrhe/.