Edwin Black discusses ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ at SMU Nov. 7, 2012

Rick Halperin

Edwin Black discusses ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ at SMU Nov. 7, 2012

Bookcover, 'IBM and the Holocaust' by Edwin BlackEdwin Black’s account of how one of America’s most powerful corporations helped Nazi Germany systematically keep track of Jews, run trains and operate death camps will be examined when the acclaimed journalist-historian visits SMU Wednesday, Nov. 7, to discuss his New York Times-bestselling book, IBM and the Holocaust.

The free public talk and book signing, sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom East.

Black writes of a secret alliance between the Third Reich and IBM, and the company’s subsequent “structured deniability.” The 2001 book, set to become a motion picture produced by Brad Pitt, also addresses U.S. corporate ethics and responsibility during one of the world’s darkest chapters, in which 11 million people were killed.

“IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s,” Black says. Though computers as we know them did not exist, Black notes, IBM’s Hollerith punch-card technology helped facilitate the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”

“Edwin Black shatters the myth that powerful U.S. corporations, including Ford and Chrysler, had few dealings with Nazi Germany,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin. “In fact, his findings raise disturbing questions about America’s profits from the murder of millions of people across Europe.”

Black’s books include British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement (2011), The Farhud (2010), Nazi Nexus (2009), The Plan (2008), Internal Combustion (2006), Banking on Baghdad (2004), War Against the Weak (2003 and 2012), The Transfer Agreement (1984 and 2009) and the novel Format C: (1999).

For more information, call 214-768-8347 or visit smu.edu/humanrights.

Written by Denise Gee

November 7, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

For the Record: Sept. 7, 2012

Versatile Link logoAnnie Xiang, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the U.S. Department of Energy Generic R&D award, a 3-year program (2012 to 2015) with a total funding of $202,500 to develop small-form-factor, high-reliability optical transmitters at the 120 Gbps range for high-bandwidth data transmission in future particle physics experiments. At SMU, she also leads the Versatile Link project, a collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Oxford University, funded through U.S. ATLAS.

SMU’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention has received the 2012 TIPS Award of Excellence for its anti-alcohol abuse training program. The award is presented by Health Communications, Inc., the providers of the Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) Program. SMU began implementing TIPS in early 2007 to train students in how to make sound choices when faced with challenging decisions regarding alcohol use. The Award of Excellence winner is chosen based on both volume of students certified and feedback from TIPS Trainers and student participants.

Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received a $250,000 grant from the Herman Frasch Foundation for Chemical Research for his research focusing on the photoreceptor protein, one of the many proteins involved in an organism’s circadian clock. The photoreceptor protein enables plants to know when the spring and fall occur and to produce flowers or fruit at the appropriate time of year. The Frasch Foundation awards grants to nonprofit incorporated institutions to support research in the field of agricultural chemistry that will be of practical benefit to U.S. agricultural development. Grants are awarded for a period of five years, subject to annual review and approval on evidence of satisfactory progress.

Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights Program, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has written the foreword to Echoes of the Lost Boys of Sudan, a graphic novel by James Disco about the Sudanese genocide and an international incident in which more than 20,000 children – mostly boys – ranging in age from 7 to 17 were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005). Read more from the Huffington Post. (Right, an image from the book.)

Lori Ann Stephens, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has written The Lingerer – a libretto based on the story The Sweeper of Dreams by Neil Gaiman – which has been chosen as a finalist in the 2012 English National Opera Minioperas competition. More than 500 librettos were entered, and 10 were selected as finalists; Stephens is the only finalist from the USA. During the next two phases of the competition, composers create music based on one of the 10 librettos, and filmmakers create videos to accompany them. Stephens has been invited to London for the final presentations in October. Listen to the music written for Stephens’ libretto by composer Julian Chou-Lambert. audio

Louis Jacobs, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been named the winner of the 2012 Skoog Cup presented by the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) as part of its STAT Awards program. The Skoog Cup is awarded to a faculty or staff member at a Texas college or university who “has demonstrated significant contributions and leadership in the development of quality science education.” Jacobs and the other STAT Award winners will be honored at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) Nov. 8-10 in Corpus Christi.

Michael Corris, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, has been named reviews editor of the Art Journal, a publication of the College Art Association (CAA). CAA states its mission as “[promoting] the visual arts and their understanding through committed practice and intellectual engagement.”

Bezalel (Ben) Gavish, Information Technology and Operations Management, Cox School of Business, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Only 12 members of the Institute were elected Fellows in 2012. They will be honored on Oct. 15 at the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

Ed Biehl, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the 2012 Kametani Award for achievements in the field of heterocyclic chemistry. The $3,000 award was created in 1999 and is presented annually in memory of the founder of Heterocycles, the official journal of The Japan Institute of Heterocyclic Chemistry. The award is sponsored by the Institute and the journal’s publisher, Elsevier.

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, has been voted 2012-13 president-elect of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA). She and the other new URMIA officers will be inducted Oct. 2 at the organization’s 43rd Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. URMIA is an international nonprofit educational association promoting “the advancement and application of effective risk management principles and practices in institutions of higher education.” It represents more than 545 institutions of higher education and 100 companies.

September 7, 2012|For the Record|

SMU Rwanda travelers seek school supplies for August 2012 trip

UPDATE Aug. 2, 2012: Thanks to donations from the SMU community and friends, the Embrey Human Rights Program travelers will leave for Rwanda tomorrow with 12 suitcases filled with 200 pounds of school supplies and 250 pounds of books (from Half-Price Books) to share with children at the Urukundo Home for Children.

Former SMU student (now alumna) Astrud Villareal helps with a construction project at the Urukundo Home for Children during a Embrey Human Rights Program trip to Rwanda in 2009. Photo by Sherry Aikman.

Twenty SMU students and staffers will be in Rwanda Aug. 3-13, 2012, on a two-fold mission: Not only to see how the African country is recovering from its 1994 civil war — in which up to a million people were killed in 100 days — but also to share educational and medical supplies with Rwandan youth.

The Embrey Human Rights Program travel group is still seeking such school supplies as pencils and pens, slim notebooks, small tape dispensers, slim packages of paper, and “anything portable,” says program coordinator Sherry Aikman.

Donated items will be accepted at 109 Clements Hall until Wednesday, Aug. 1.

The travel group will take extra suitcases loaded with school supplies as well as seven boxes of books for children and young adults given to them by Half Price Books. They also will have medical supplies donated in part by Project C.U.R.E., a Denver-based service group for which SMU student Hayley Wagner is a summer intern.

Wagner, who recently traveled to Rwanda on the Student Leadership Initiative trip led by Embrey Human Rights Program Associate Director Pat Davis, helped the Embrey program purchase $2,000 worth of medical supplies for $200. The kits will be given to the Urukundo Home for Children.

This is the third year the Embrey Human Rights Program has sponsored the Rwanda trip, which will have the group visiting schools, orphanages and genocide sites to meet with survivors.

“We’ll be interacting not only with the issues of genocide, which are so visually present throughout the country, but also with the people and organizations working for a better Rwanda,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin, who is leading the trip.

For more information visit smu.edu/humanrights or call Aikman at 214-768-8347.

— Denise Gee

July 27, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Panel examines ‘Seeking Justice in the Face of Hate’ April 5, 2012

How long does a person or community have to wait for justice? A state legislator – representing an Allen family that believes their son’s 2009 stabbing death was a miscarriage of justice – will join four others with uniquely compelling perspectives on crimes involving hate and what Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, describes as “legal systems that have let us down.”

The panel discussion, “Seeking Justice in the Face of Hate,” will take place 7-9 p.m. in SMU’s McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, the Embrey Family Foundation and Project X: TheatreDanceMusicFilm.

Featured panelists include:

  • Acclaimed playwright Erik Ehn of Brown University, whose work addresses violence, genocide and faith — and whose play Diamond Dick, about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, opens in Dallas April 13. A musical preview will be presented during the panel event.
  • Rep. Lon Burnam, who will highlight the legal issues surrounding a local Muslim family seeking justice for the murder of their son.
  • Cece Cox, executive director & CEO of Resource Center Dallas, one of North Texas’ primary LGBT and HIV/AIDS service organizations.
  • Detective Terry Trail of the SMU Police Department, who will talk about hate groups in America and how they use the Internet.
  • Hate-crime survivor and World Without Hate peace activist Rais Bhuiyan.

For more details, visit smu.edu/humanrights or call 214-768-8347.

Above, Rais Bhuiyan talks about his experiences as a hate-crime survivor in an SMU-TV story by student journalist Bridget Bennett dated Sept. 12, 2011. Click the Vimeo screen to watch, or click this link to watch the Rais Bhuiyan interview in a new windowvideo

Written by Denise Gee

April 5, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

Living the dream: SMU celebrates MLK Day 2012 all week

SMU Celebrates Dream WeekSMU celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Dream Week 2012 Jan. 16-19. Sponsored by the University’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the annual observance features a variety of activities throughout the week, including opportunities for community service and a commemorative walk.

This year’s schedule includes the traditional Day of Service Monday, Jan. 16, with volunteer projects taking place at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas LIFE and the Genesis Women’s Shelter Thrift Store.

The Dream Week kickoff event is scheduled for noon-2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. Featured speakers are Dennis Simon, Political Science, and Rick Halperin, Human Rights Education.

The University’s annual Unity Walk will take place at noon Wednesday, Jan. 18, starting at the Main Quad flagpole. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will offer remarks. That evening at 7:30 p.m., the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives will present a screening of Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders in the Hughes-Trigg Forum. The award-winning documentary examines the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and ’60s from the point of view of the women who lived it and helped lead it.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, the Willson Lecture Series of SMU’s Office of the Chaplain presents Daniel White Hodge speaking on “The Hostile Gospel: Seeking the Theological Sensibilities Within Hip-Hop Culture.” The lecture takes place in the Hughes-Trigg Forum followed by a brown-bag discussion at 11:30 a.m. in Hughes-Trigg Promenades A and B.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at SMU, March 17, 1966This week, SMU also recalls Dr. King’s speech to a standing-room-only crowd in McFarlin Auditorium on March 17, 1966. SMU News offers these related links:

> More information from SMU News

January 14, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|
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