The Wang Center at Pacific Lutheran University has held a symposium to better educate the community for the past five years on subjects relating to water usage and advances in global healthcare by NGOs. This year, the symposium is focusing on genocide and understanding crimes against humanity.

The symposium is titled “Shoah,” a Yiddish word meaning catastrophe or devastation, because the conference will cover many forms and acts of genocide, including the Holocaust in World War II. The Holocaust, along with the other genocides to be discussed, will be referred to as Shoah to use appropriate terminology and promote understanding.

Beginning Thursday and concluding next Friday, the symposium will cover many acts of violence against humanity, focusing on case studies in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin American and the U.S.

“We have a wide range of countries and issues to discuss,” Tamara Williams, executive director of the Wang Center and a professor of Hispanic studies, said. “But there are still more that we have yet to cover.”

Cultural anthropologists, peace practitioners and even 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jerry White will be exploring and analyzing issues of gender, the impact of political organization and the arts, stories of resistance and more.

The event is free and open to the community, but those willing to attend are encouraged to register online at A finalized list of the location of events will be listed online Monday.

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