Photo of a panel discussion at the Northeastern GHRAD Conference in 2019.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Northeastern Illinois University’s Genocide and Human Rights in Africa and the Diaspora (GHRAD) Center will host the 9th annual Genocide and Human Rights in Africa and the Diaspora Conference Feb. 23-25. The conference will be held in Alumni Hall on the Main Campus, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., and be streamed via Zoom. Advance sign-up for Zoom is requested.  

This year’s theme is “From Roots to Reparations to Trust Building.” The conference will feature national and international experts in genocide and human rights, specifically in Africa and the diaspora. Featured speakers include United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Circuit Court of Cook County Honorable Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Truth Telling Project David Ragland and Chair of the African & African American Studies Program at New Jersey City University Jermaine McCalpin

Professor of English and Coordinator of African/African American Studies Chielozona Eze is part of the GHRAD Center Research Team and notes the conference is as important today as it was when it started in 2013.

“Every so often, discussions about genocide focus on the horrors of the past and how to

keep the memories of victims alive,” Eze said. “However, equal attention should also be paid to its prevention. This year’s conference is dedicated to strategies for the prevention of genocide in Africa, while not ignoring ways of repairing the injustices of the past in the African diaspora.”

GHRAD Center Director Jeanine Nthirageza is a survivor of the mass killings in Burundi in 1972.  

“The goal of the GHRAD Center is to examine the history and manifestations of genocide in Africa and the Black Diaspora to understand the elements that can prevent genocide,” said Ntihirageza, who is also the coordinator of Northeastern’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program. “We are living history every day. Every day we have the opportunity to prevent another genocide from occurring. Through the conference, we provide the public with knowledge and tools to, hopefully, make ‘never again’ true, once and for all.” 

Top photo: A panel discussion at the Northeastern GHRAD Conference in 2019.