Dr. Carol Lilly
associate professor of history, 308.865.8757
“PROOF: Media for Social Justice” founder and executive director Leora Kahn will speak on Monday, March 12, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The event, which is sponsored by the Heartland Holocaust Educational Fund, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Cedar Room. The event is free and open to the public. Kahn, who has been a photo editor for more than 25 years, founded “PROOF” in 2006.
“Rescuers Project,” a photo exhibit sponsored by “PROOF,” is now on display in the UNK Health and Sports Center, Calvin T. Library and Nebraskan Student Union.
“The goals of the ‘Rescuers Project’ are to better understand the conditions that support compassionate behavior in the face of communal violence, and to encourage social healing, reconciliation and the prevention of further cycles of violence in societies recovering from mass violence through the promotion of positive narratives,” said Dr. Carol Lilly, UNK history professor.
“She (Kahn) will describe the goals and purpose of the ‘Rescuers Project’ exhibit, how it came about, her personal experiences in helping to create it and meeting the extraordinary people on whom it is focused,” Dr. Lilly said.
“I saw the exhibit myself last summer while I was on a research trip in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, and was completely awed by it,” Dr. Lilly said. “A day or two later, I happened also to meet Leora Kahn, who was there with the exhibit. I spoke to her at some length about the exhibit and her work, and began making preliminary plans to arrange for it to come to UNK.
“As soon as I returned home, I spoke to others here with similar interests, in particular Dr. Kurt Borchard in the Department of Sociology, who has access to funding for academic activities and speakers relating to the Holocaust and Genocide, such as The Heartland Holocaust Educational Fund. He was enthusiastic, and we next moved to get Vice Chancellor Bicak’s support, who happily agreed.”
As executive director of PROOF, Kahn has worked on global projects with Amnesty International, Human Rights First and the United Nations.
She was the director of photography at Workman Publishing and Corbis. She has worked for “Time,” “New York Times,” “Rolling Stone,” “The New Yorker,” “U.S. News & World Report,” the Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has curated exhibitions for the Ford Foundation, ABC Television, Amnesty International, Women’s Refugee Commission and the Holocaust Museum in Houston.
Kahn was the executive producer for the film “Rene and I,” an award-winning documentary about the life of a woman who as a child was experimented on by Josef Mengele during the Holocaust. She also co-produced “Original Intent,” a documentary about the judicial philosophy promoted by Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
She received a graduate degree in conflict transformation and peace building from the School for International Training, and a master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration on human rights from the New School.
Kahn was a fellow at the Genocide Studies Center at Yale University, where she conducted research on rescuers and rescuing behavior; the Cathy Cohen Lasry Visiting Lecturer at Clark University’s Holocaust and Genocide Center; and the recipient of the Adriane de Rothschild Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship and a Fulbright specialist grant.