Former New Eng­land Regional Director of the Anti-​​Defamation League and leader on the issue of rec­og­nizing the Armenian Genocide

Hosted by North­eastern University’s Holo­caust Aware­ness Com­mittee, the 16th annual Robert Salomon Morton Lec­ture will wel­come Andrew Tarsy for a unique talk on the sub­ject of geno­cide.. Titled, “The Power of Words: Why the Term ‘Geno­cide’ Mat­ters So Much 60 Years after It Became an Inter­na­tion­ally Rec­og­nized Crime,” Tarsy’s lec­ture is open to the public on March 19, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in 10 Behrakis Center.

The former New Eng­land Regional Director of the Anti-​​Defamation League, Tarsy is a leader on the issue of rec­og­nizing the Armenian Geno­cide. In 2007, he spoke about the need to rec­og­nize the murder of the Arme­nians in 1915 as “Geno­cide”. As a result, Tarsy was named to the Jewish Daily For­ward’s “For­ward 50” list which honors the 50 most influ­en­tial people in Amer­ican Jewish life. He was also rec­og­nized by Mass­a­chu­setts Lawyers Weekly as a 2007 “Lawyer of the Year.”

Tarsy for­merly served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Divi­sion of the United States Depart­ment of Jus­tice and as a lawyer in pri­vate prac­tice focusing on civil rights lit­i­ga­tion. Throughout a career built around advo­cacy and edu­ca­tion, he has worked with com­mu­ni­ties of diverse back­grounds, raising public con­scious­ness about dis­crim­i­na­tion and hate vio­lence, and building bridges of under­standing across dif­fer­ences. Tarsy has trained police and uni­ver­sity admin­is­tra­tors, col­lab­o­rated with high school stu­dents and teachers, formed coali­tions of diverse clergy from many dif­ferent reli­gions, and drawn sig­nif­i­cant atten­tion to the big­otry that he believes has infected the nation’s con­ver­sa­tion about immigration.

The annual lec­ture, hosted by the Holo­caust Aware­ness Com­mittee, honors Robert Salomon Morton. Born in 1906 in Frank­furt am Main, Ger­many, Morton was edu­cated in the school of the Orthodox Syn­a­gogue, Kahal Adath Jeshurun. He was a per­sonal target of Nazi per­se­cu­tion in the years leading up to the Second World War. A par­tic­u­larly har­rowing expe­ri­ence in 1934 con­vinced him that he had no choice but to apply for emi­gra­tion to the United States and arrived in Boston three years later. For many years Morton and his wife, Sophie, were care­takers and caterers of the Hillel Foun­da­tion at Har­vard University.

It was during Morton’s time at Hillel that a chance meeting at a bar­ber­shop brought him together with Bill Giessen, North­eastern Pro­fessor of Chem­istry and Mechan­ical Engi­neering, then a post doc­toral fellow at MIT who had grown up and was edu­cated in Ger­many during and fol­lowing the Nazi period. The long-​​time friend­ship and ongoing con­ver­sa­tion that resulted from this meeting helped to foster a sense of dis­covery between the two men. The annual Morton Lec­ture has been cre­ated as a way of memo­ri­al­izing a per­son­ality which embodied a spirit of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and understanding.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.