Rwandan Genocide

Braceros performing field labor

Rwandan Genocide:
A Brief Overview for High School Students

Referenced in both the 10th Grade chapter and Appendix D of the CA HSS Framework, the Rwandan Genocide is one of the more recent genocides that students will study in school. Understanding the origins and mechanisms of the Rwandan Genocide, as well as the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide (these individuals were the first in history to be convicted of the crime of genocide), is vital to working toward preventing future genocides. In this video, students will learn about the origins of the Rwandan Genocide, the ways that it was carried out, and the lasting effects had on the country and people of Rwanda. Students will hear the story of an individual who lived through the atrocities and survived. As a 15-year-old living in Rwanda, her story will resonate with high school students and will provide the jumping off point for a rich discussion about genocide and the international response to injustice. This video is also designed to be a starting point for a larger conversation about how genocide can occur, what international response to genocide should be, and what role individuals have in preventing genocide from occurring in the future.

President John F. Kennedy meets with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Grégoire Kayibanda, after the United States officially acknowledges Rwanda’s independence.