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Integrating Human Rights and Genocide Prevention into Library Public Program

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Description: Thirty three years after the fall of Democratic Kampuchea, Cambodia is still coping with the painful legacies of genocide. More than 2 million innocent Cambodian citizens were murdered by its own country during the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979. This program will examine the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, how to redress and heal the damage done by genocide, and how to help prevent genocide from occurring today. Recommended books and primary resource materials will be discussed.

Presenter(s): Icy Smith, Author of Half Spoon of Rice. Half Spoon of Rice presents a child’s account of life in Cambodia during the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in the mid-1970s. Half Spoon of Rice is the winners of the Benjamin Franklin Book Award, Society of School Librarians International Honor Book Award, Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices, Skipping Stones Honor Award, California Book Award Finalist Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist.

Format: Lecture; PowerPoint presentation on the Cambodian genocide using archival photographs to examine and discuss a deeper understanding of the topic.

Target audience: All librarians and general audience at all instructional levels

Types of libraries:

  • Community College
  • High School
  • Middle School
  • Public
  • State Library
  • Student


  • Adult Services
  • Diversity
  • International Issues
  • Multicultural Services
  • Public Programs

Additional comments


  1. Participants will have increased knowledge of the tragic events of the Cambodian genocide.
  2. Participants will learn how to utilize an illustrated storybook to teach a lesson on human rights and genocide.
  3. Participants will learn how the International Tribunal provides for justice, and how to redress and heal the damage done by genocide.
  4. Participants will have increased competence to advance students’ awareness of human rights and the global community.

Speaking References:

  1. National Council for Social Studies Conference
  2. National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education Conference
  3. California Teachers Association Equity and Human Rights Conference
  4. California Teachers Association Good Teaching Conference
  5. California Association for the Gifted Conference
  6. California School Library Association Annual Conference
  7. California Council for Social Studies Conference
  8. Los Angeles County Multicultural Conference
  9. Texas Library Association Convention