Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is partnering with Ford Motor Company to integrate testimonies from genocide survivors into the curriculum in Detroit schools. The Spielberg-founded USC Shoah Foundation has created an online platform of more than 50-thousand videos of people who lived through events like the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide. Foundation Director of Education Kori Street says bringing the stories into classrooms can give students a new perspective on history.
“At Henry Ford here, and we had about 75 kids, and it was the poems they came up with would just blow your mind. Gave me a little goosebumps hearing these kids just say, ‘Ya know, if those people could stand up when they’re surviving great violence, I can certainly you know work to do that today, and they’re just so inspired by these voices from the past.”
-Kori Street, USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education
Street says Ford hopes to bring the program to about 10-percent of Detroit schools. She says the automaker will also sponsor an annual video challenge that encourages teenagers to take lessons from the classroom into their communities.