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USM Convocation hosts "Memory, Trauma and the Generations of Genocide" with internationally renowned therapist Dr. Yael Danieli

Memory Trauma event poster

University of Southern Maine Convocation hosts a special event, "Memory, Trauma and the Generations of Genocide," - featuring Dr. Yael Danieli, an internationally renowned therapist who’s worked with survivors of genocide, along with a panel discussion including members of communities who've survived.

The event, which honors the April Genocide Commemorations for the Armenian, Jewish, Cambodian, and Rwandan communities, will take place on Wednesday, April 3, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Abromson Community Education Center, Hannaford Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and as the event might fill up, advance registration is encouraged.

Keynote speaker Dr. Yael Danieli is a clinical psychologist in private practice, a victimologist, traumatologist, and the Director of the Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and their Children, which she co-founded in 1975 in the New York City area – the first such program in the world. She has done extensive psychotherapeutic work with survivors and children of survivors on individual, family, group and community bases. She has studied in depth post-war responses and attitudes toward them, and the impact these and the Holocaust had on their lives. Danieli is the point person for the United Nations on these issues and has worked with Holocaust survivors, genocide survivors in Rwanda, Truth and Reconciliation tribunals in South Africa, and Bosnian victims of genocide.

panel discussion will follow Dr. Yael Danieli's speech including members of those communities who have survived genocide in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the Native American and African American genocides; German Southwest Africa/Namibian genocide (1904-1907); Armenian genocide (1915-1923); Holocaust (1941-1945); Cambodian genocide (1975-1979); Rwandan genocide (1994); Darfur genocide (early 21st century) and the Kurdish cultural genocide that continues to this day.

This event is a program about the psychological trauma – soul wounds - that affect both survivors of physical and cultural genocides and those generations that follow them. “It is also about the efforts of our keynote speaker, Dr. Yael Danieli, to break the "conspiracy of silence" surrounding the treatment of intergenerational trauma among survivors of genocide and to demand justice and reparations as the minimal repayments for a pain and suffering that no community should ever endure,” said Abraham J. Peck, USM research professor of History.


This event is sponsored by: The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, Marcus/Clegg LLC, USM Office of the President, Portland Harbor Hotel, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, Jewish Community Alliance, Armenian Cultural Association of Maine, Rwanda Community Association of Maine, USM Model United Nations and NAACP Maine.