The Martin-Springer Institute attends to the experiences of the Holocaust in order to relate them to today’s concerns, crises, and conflicts. Our programs promote the values of moral courage, tolerance, empathy, reconciliation, and justice. It was founded by Holocaust survivor Doris Szpringer Martin and her husband Ralph Martin in 2000.
Located at Northern Arizona University (NAU), it fosters dialogue on local, national, and international levels. With our dual mandate to understand the past in order to work for a more just and peaceful society today, we organize year-round educational, public programs and events for university students and the community at large.
Since 2012, when the Institute reorganized with an (almost ) full-time director (who also holds a faculty position at NAU), we have reached over 5,000 people every year. Projects for graduate and undergraduate students include, for example, cultural encounter programs with a diverse NAU student group and Israeli and Bedouin students in southern Israel and northern Arizona to study relations between indigenous communities in Israel (Bedouin) and Arizona (Native Americans).
Our main speaker series addresses urgent concerns in the region, nationwide, and internationally, and includes speakers like Masha Gessen, Morris Dee, Father Patrick Desbois, David Treuer, and Cornell West. Local and regional projects include, for example, the exhibit on "Resilience: Women in Flagstaff's Past and Present"; awareness raising for humanitarian crisis on US/Mexico border; or support for DACA/Dreamers.
Our historical exhibit "Through the Eyes of Youth: Life and Death in the Bedzin Ghetto" has been shown in the US and in Polish translation in Poland. It will be shown at the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Museum (South Africa) in 2020. We also curated the international art exhibit "Echoes of Loss: Artistic Responses to Trauma" (2018) and "Wounded Landscapes" (2014). Academic international symposia include "Strangers or Neighbors? Refugees in the Religious Traditions," "Islamophobia and Antisemitism," "Masculinities and Mass Atrocity Crimes," and in Fall 2020, "Post Gulag and Post-Auschwitz Legacies: Toward an Ethics of Responsibility." Teacher training programs for Arizona Educators occur annually.
We participate in and cooperate with national and international organizations, such as the S-CAR (School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution; ADL; USHMM; Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Facing History and Ourselves; INaSEC in Amsterdam, etc.). We are available for presenting at schools, universities, public libraries, and community organizations. We address a variety of peace-building and trust-building issues, and also make our traveling exhibits available.