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Liz Ševčenko

Director, Guantánamo Public Memory Project - ISHR

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Liz Ševčenko was Founding Director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a network of historic sites that foster public dialogue on pressing contemporary issues. Starting in 1999 as a meeting of nine sites under the auspices of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, under her leadership the Coalition grew to over 250 members in more than 40 countries; launched regional networks in Russia, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; as well as an international Immigration Sites of Conscience network and a bi-national (US and Canada) Indian Boarding Schools Project; established as an independent organization; and grew from a budget of $100,000 to $1.3 million. As Coalition Director, Ševčenko worked with initiatives in more than 60 countries to design replicable programs and practices that reflect on past struggles and inspire citizens to become involved in addressing their contemporary legacies. Before launching the Coalition, Ševčenko had over ten years of experience developing public history projects designed to catalyze civic dialogue in New York and around the country. As Vice President for Programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, she developed exhibits and educational activities that connect the dramatic stories of the neighborhood’s immigrants past and present. She also developed national and community initiatives to inspire civic dialogue on cultural identity, labor relations, housing, welfare, immigration, and other issues raised by these stories. She has published extensively on Sites of Conscience in journals and edited volumes in a variety of fields, from human rights to cultural heritage to transitional justice. Ševčenko has a B.A. from Yale University and is ABD in history at New York University. The Guantánamo Public Memory Project builds public awareness of the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before and after 9-11, and fosters dialogue on the future of this place, its people, and its policies. It produces digital media, a traveling exhibit, and teaching and research resources.

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ISHR Profile
Guantánamo Public Memory Project

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Discipline: International Affairs & Political Science

Topic: Human Rights & Social Justice