As Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary, the busy director sat down with Maria Shriver for an exclusive interview, which aired this morning on NBC’s “Today,” discussing his work within the foundation and its new IWitness program, a student-oriented initiative. Watch below.
Using the proceeds from his 7-time Oscar winning film “Schindler’s List,” which hit theaters 21 years ago, Spielberg formed the Foundation to videotape and collect stories and testimonies from 52,000 survivors of genocide — from the Holocaust to Nanjing and Rwanda. In his interview, he elaborates on the IWitness program he’s establishing within the foundation, which focuses on educational outreach, training students to be more empathetic and accepting of differences. The idea is they’ll hone these life skills by watching the Foundation’s archive of video interviews.
Spielberg is clear on his message for students: “Stop bigotry. Stop bullying. Be an active teacher through history.” In the interview he reveals he himself was bullied as a young person. He also refers to the tapes amassed by Shoah: “I feel like I have 52,000 grandparents that I never
knew I had, and I adopted them, and when we meet in person, they adopt
Meanwhile, Shoah is gearing up for its 20th anniversary Ambassadors for Humanity Gala on May 7, and they have a very special guest arriving in person: President Obama.