Sustainable Memory

Annual Theme 2013-2014

What does it mean to remember sustainably?

To remember sustainably will mean different things to different people and will be approached in very different ways depending upon the field of study from which one approaches the issue. Here are some questions to consider this year:

  • How do we as individuals, as a family, as a local community, as a nation, as all of humanity develop practices of remembering and commemorating that reflect a sustainable mindset, that create memory in responsible, just ways?

  • What are some historical examples of remembering past events in sustainable ways? What are examples of unsustainable memory creation? How can past memories be reshaped to reflect a more sustainable mindset? How can we remember current events in more sustainable ways?

  • What gets commemorated and how? What should we commemorate or mark into memory and what should we forget? What should we never forget? In what ways do these processes function? How can we develop processes to make these determinations in more sustainable ways?

Recent examples where sustainable memory has been front and center: South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Trials, Memory and transgenerational trauma, The Holocaust, September 11th, and the trial of Efrain Rios Montt on genocide charges in Guatemala.

As such, Sustainable Memory has been selected as this year’s Education for Justice annual theme. We are writing to ask for your help in making the programming around our theme a success.

Ways to get involved (or facilitate student involvement):

  1. Encourage your students to attend Education for Justice-sponsored events.

  2. Incorporate Sustainable Memory into your fall or spring courses. Do you have your students write essays, create videos or posters, draw, paint, or take photos? Why not use “Sustainable Memory” as the focus of their creative pursuits? We will have a spring event where students can showcase their work.

  3. Apply for an Education for Justice grant. We have funding to support new initiatives or the enhancement of existing programs that encourage reflection on the meaning of justice, make us aware of injustice in our society and throughout the world, and introduce us to various methods of analysis, so that we may be able to respond.

Contact Dr. Mike Allison ( or the Education for Justice office ( if you would like a copy of the grant application or if you would like to incorporate the Education for Justice theme into your course(s) but are unsure how to get started.

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