WASHINGTON — Earlier this year, the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia’s Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute awarded William S. Parsons with the Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Medal on behalf of the government of Armenia.
In a formal ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia on the evening of December 10, Armenian Ambassador to the US Tigran Sargsyan presented the award to Parsons for his exceptional service to humankind through education on the Armenian Genocide and the defense of human rights.
William S. Parsons worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) for 25 years where he served as chief of staff and director of education.
Prior to joining USHMM, he co-founded Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that specializes in training teachers in human rights education in order to help students confront the lessons of genocide and the Holocaust, and learn the value of tolerance. Facing History and Ourselves developed the first national curriculum on the Armenian Genocide in the US, which serves as the template for all educators today.
“It was my great honor to participate in the awarding of a longtime friend of the Armenian people,” stated Armenian National Institute (ANI) Director Dr. Rouben Adalian. “Perhaps no other person in the United States has done more and achieved more as a human rights educator than William Parsons,” added Adalian.
Parsons has reached thousands of teachers across the United States and around the globe. He co-authored the teachers’ resource book Facing History and Ourselves: The Holocaust and Human Behavior. He also co-edited, along with other significant educators, Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts, which has gone into its fourth edition and sold tens of thousands of copies, making it the most popular college textbook on human rights and genocide.