With a specific educational mission at the heart of its activities, the Center:
- Arranges and conducts events for the FGCU student body that relate directly to the commemoration of the Holocaust and other genocides on anniversaries and other special days. These events can range from lectures and other initiatives, to the bringing of leading scholars from other parts of the United States and overseas, who address university audiences on areas of their specific expertise.
- We also hold academic conferences, seminars and workshops. Nearly all Center events are open to the general public as well as the university community, and are advertised widely through the press and the Center website.
- The Center also engages in extensive research activities in areas relating to the Holocaust and genocide. It produces books and other kinds of educational materials, the better to be able to combat ignorance of World War II and the Holocaust. With this in mind, the Center is student-focused, and is keen to encourage the interest of students through providing them with opportunities to involve themselves in all Center activities.
The mission of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University is to increase knowledge and understanding about the Holocaust and other genocides, as well as to strengthen the democratic institutions that can confront genocide and other threats to human rights, such as intolerance, antisemitism, racism and ignorance. The Center seeks to achieve these aims through providing educational opportunities within the university, the wider community, and in partnership with educational and other organizations throughout the State of Florida, the United States, and internationally. The Center takes as the focus of all its activities the fact that the massive human rights violations that led to the Holocaust, and the genocides that both preceded and followed it, negated the key foundations of Western civilization. The core concern of the Center is to thus reinforce the bases upon which contemporary democratic society is founded, with a view to realizing that each individual has choices and is responsible for his or her own conscience and action.
The vision of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University is conditioned by two essential quotes: the first, by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, asks the question “How can I expect a man to have compassion for humanity if he has none for the individual who lives alongside him?” The second is by Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, who, after living through the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, concluded that “All humans are human, [and] there are no humans more human than others.” The Center thus envisages a time when its work will only be one of historical remembrance, not of contemporary recording; when we are more morally aware because we know of the potential existence of radical evil in every human society; and when we recognize the duty we each have to look out for the interests of all.