PR News 2016 CSR Awards: Video Initiatives

Winner: USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education - Auschwitz 70: The Past is Present

Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, partnered in September 2014 to deliver educational components of Auschwitz 70: The Past is Present program.

Auschwitz70: The Past is Present initiative utilized social media, online platforms, web-based livestreaming, and digital education tools including survivor video testimonies to increase students’ awareness about the Holocaust, support the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and encourage educators to incorporate survivor video testimony into their classroom instruction to connect students to the past in a way to motivate them to build a better future.

As part of this partnership, USC Shoah Foundation leveraged more than 1,500 video testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides through its free IWitness online educational platform.

The videos available through this program are designed to teach students about the past and encourage them to reflect on how their actions can help make the world a better place. Additionally, Discovery Education integrated a selection of these video testimonies into its official website,, and digital classroom services for educators to incorporate into instruction.

In January 2015, 25 teachers traveled to Poland to visit historic Holocaust memorials, attend the official commemoration ceremony, meet Holocaust survivors, and engage with IWitness’ Visual History Archive and multimedia activities.

To date, Auschwitz: The Past is Present has generated more than 175,696,370 media impressions. Press highlights include coverage from The LA Times, The Boston Herald, Education Week, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Multichannel News, New York Post, Huffington Post, Scholastic, The Times of Israel, Jewish Weekly, eSchool News and Education Dive. In addition, an estimated 456,000 students worldwide tuned into the virtual experience.

Honorable Mention:
• Imprenta Communications Group - Hospital of HOPE Viacom: The Road to College