The Obama Presidency & Genocide Prevention Today

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2009) – The University of South Florida Institute on Black Life and the Department of Africana Studies present “The Obama Presidency & Genocide Prevention” with one of the world’s leading scholars in genocide studies, Edward Kissi.  The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the USF Library’s Grace Allen Room as part of the institute’s Spring Lecture Series.


Kissi will examine the new Administration’s commitment to the prevention of genocide.


 “During this era of change, everyone is watching closely to see what President Obama will do,” said Kissi, an assistant professor at USF.  “As members of the world community, every citizen should understand the problem and encourage him to take the right actions to prevent further genocides wherever they are in danger of breaking out.”


Kissi is the author of Revolution and Genocide in Ethiopia and Cambodia, the first comparative study of the Ethiopian and Cambodian revolutions of the early 1970s.  He has had numerous speaking engagements on the topic of genocide internationally and throughout the U.S. and has participated in the United Nations outreach program on the HolocaustHe took part in a UN sponsored roundtable discussion titled “From Kristallnacht to Today: How do we Combat Hatred?" and has contributed a paper: “The Holocaust as a Guidepost for Genocide Detection and Prevention in Africa” to the United Nations Discussion  Papers on the Holocaust.


“Dr. Kissi is an amazing resource as an authority on this extremely important topic,” said Cheryl Rodriguez, director of the Institute on Black Life.  “We are truly fortunate to have him here to help us grasp the enormity of the issue and to get a chance to explore his recommendations for our new President.”


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.