The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Mishy Lesser

Mishy Lesser is the Learning Director for the Coexist Learning Project. She conceived and developed the Coexist Teacher’s Guide to help teachers and students use the film in impactful ways. She has worked with youth since the 1980s and came of age as a trainer and facilitator by partnering with community leaders and organizations in Chile and Ecuador. Mishy has extensive experience in curriculum development, workshop design, and group facilitation. She is a Circle Keeper, and her workshops are both content-rich and attentive to the social emotional learning needs of participants. She is also a writer and has been featured on WBUR (Boston) and PRI/BBC’s “The World.” Mishy earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a certificate from the Couples and Family Center at Harvard Medical School. She spent twelve years in Latin American and ten years in the field of workforce development, with a focus on policy and program reform. She is an Associate of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.

Othering: Lessons from Rwanda for Our Schools

Twenty years ago Rwanda collapsed amidst a hundred-day genocidal rampage by its majority Hutu population against the less numerous Tutsi. The quick ferocity of the slaughter stunned and shocked the world, though not enough to prevent it. The seeds of hatred had been planted decades before, fed by colonial Belgian overlords who deliberately promoted othering of one group, the majority Hutu, by the more-favored and socially dominant Tutsi.

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