Samerian Foundation Awards $20 Million to U.S. Holocaust Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has announced a $20 million gift from the Indianapolis-based Samerian Foundation to advance the museum’s genocide prevention mission.

The newly renamed Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide will work to make the prevention of genocide a core priority for leaders and academics around the world through a multi-pronged program of research, education, and public outreach. Continuing its efforts to implement the findings of the museum-sponsored Genocide Prevention Task Force, the center will provide decision makers, including U.S. and other government officials, with the knowledge, tools, and institutional support required to prevent or halt genocide and related crimes against humanity.

To that end, the center will work to create an early warning system that identifies "dangerous speech" and an initiative to expand understanding of the warning signs and causes of genocide and share such information with decision makers, academics, and the public before atrocities begin.

"Seventy years after the Holocaust, the exceptional generosity of the Simon-Skjodt family positions the museum to fulfill founding chairman Elie Wiesel's vision for a living memorial that would address what he called 'the most perplexing and urgent issue' of preventing future genocides," said U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum director Sara J. Bloomfield. "It remains a bold aspiration and tragically more relevant than ever. With this gift the museum ensures its continued capacity to tackle this most intractable problem."

"Transformative Gift to Sustain and Expand Innovative Approaches to Genocide Prevention." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Press Release 02/19/2015.