On September 1, 2022, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) celebrated the second anniversary of its Warren Educational Policies Program: Celebrating the Life of Holocaust Survivor Naomi Kaplan Warren (WEPP) on what would have been Naomi’s 102nd birthday.
Since 2016, AIPG’s Educational Policies Program has worked with governmental partners, universities, and civil society groups to create educational programs that engage young people in preventing prejudice, hatred, and discrimination, as well as building more respectful, diverse, and just societies. In 2020, the Warren family partnered with AIPG to rename the educational policies program in Naomi’s honor, celebrating her incredible courage and commitment to using education and the arts to build a better world for everyone.
Dr. Clara Ramírez Barat, Director of the WEPP, described how the program pursues Naomi’s legacy and honors the values she held dear. She explained:
As we look ahead to year three of the WEPP, Naomi remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration and courage for my colleagues and me. She is an example to all of us, and the Auschwitz Institute is extremely honored to carry on her legacy through our educational work. Her memory pushes us to pursue partnerships with new countries and to imagine new possibilities for more human education across the world during a time when it is much needed.
In the past two years, the WEPP has invested significant efforts in establishing relationships with practitioners, policymakers, and researchers working on educational projects, as well as projects in the areas of Human Rights and Citizenship Education, Peace Education, Holocaust Education, and Memory Education. To date, WEPP has trained more than 2,500 teachers in Brazil, El Salvador, and Paraguay, reaching an estimated 75,000 students with meaningful lessons on diversity, respect for others, human rights, and solidarity.
The WEPP team has developed educational materials based on the needs of the social and political context in the region. Especially after the rise of identity-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and the tensions ahead of Brazil’s presidential election. Last year, when schools began reopening in Brazil after the pandemic, WEPP created a special kit to help teachers and students reestablish caring and respectful learning environments when returning to in-person classes. In July, the team created an activity kit to help teachers navigate the electoral period leading up to Brazil’s October general election.
More recently, to reinforce its capacity to design innovative projects, WEPP has partnered with education experts from around the world to launch a new international research report on using education to prevent democratic backsliding. This report collects evidence of best practices in democratic teaching, learning, planning, and policy, based on the expertise of diverse local contexts, and it’s available in four languages here: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.