Meeting in a Box: Holocaust Days of Remembrance

April 25, 2014 5:48 pm
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Meeting in a Box Holocaust Days of RemembranceThis Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

April 27–May 4 is the Days of Remembrance for victims of the Holocaust. We are giving you a valuable tool to share with all your employees as you continue their education in cultural competence. We are supplying a historic timeline on the Holocaust and its impact on Jews, gay men and Roma gypsies, among other groups, as well as major human-rights atrocities in recent history.

This information should be distributed to your entire workforce and also can be used by your employee resource groups (religion, LGBT and all others) both internally and externally as a year-round educational tool.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

1. HISTORIC TIMELINE

We recommend you start your employees’ cultural-competence lesson on the Holocaust by using this historic Timeline, which documents the history of the Nazis and the Holocaust. It’s important to note how many different people were persecuted and the magnitude of the genocide.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Why is it important to remember the Holocaust and other human-rights atrocities?
Given the current situation in Ukraine as well as other recent atrocities worldwide, such as Darfar, what can we learn from the actions of Nazi leaders and others during World War II? How can historic knowledge help us prevent discrimination and human-rights violations from occurring? How do those historic examples of discrimination carry over into the workplace?

Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Why is knowledge of historic atrocities important to employees, especially younger employees?
This is a personal discussion designed to help your employees understand how knowledge of historic issues, including groups of people who have been victimized, helps them better interface with clients, customers, suppliers and other employees.

What role should companies take in fighting atrocities?
Corporate involvement in atrocities is not new. Some companies refused to do business in South Africa during the apartheid era and spoke out against it. In the United States, General Motors and other companies have strongly opposed bans on affirmative action. Most recently, AT&T became the first major corporation to oppose Soviet anti-gay policies during the Olympics. In the United States, other companies have spoken out and taken legal stands in support of same-gender marriage.

Historic Timeline

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Holocaust Days of Remembrance Timeline

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Holocaust Days of Remembrance Facts & Figures

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[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

2. COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has created a list of frequently asked questions. You can share these with your employees and explain the significance of understanding this history.

These questions include:

  • Was Hitler solely responsible for the Holocaust?
  • What happened if you disobeyed an order to participate in an atrocity?
  • How did the United States know about the Holocaust and how did it respond?

Other guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust include:

  • Define the term “Holocaust.”
  • Do not teach or imply that the Holocaust was inevitable.
  • Avoid simple answers to complex questions.
  • Avoid comparison of pain.
  • Do not romanticize history.

Guidelines for teaching about genocide include:

  • Define the term “genocide.”
  • Be wary of simplistic parallels to other genocides.
  • Illustrate positive actions taken by nations and individuals in the face of genocide.
Common Questions About the Holocaust

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[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

3. WORKPLACE ACTIONS

The roots of genocide start with discrimination and bias.

Discussion Questions for Employees

What role do you think the company should play when offensive comments occur?
Have employees talk about under what circumstances they would report offensive comments and what they believe the company should do. See Ask the White Guy: How Do You Respond to Offensive Language?

After today’s lesson, what would you do if you overheard a colleague make one of these comments?
Continue the discussion with each employee having a plan of action on how to address offensive language.

Workplace Actions

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[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

Register for the 2015 DiversityInc Top 50 Event April 23 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City!
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