WVIA to Premiere Special Presentation

Members News

WVIA, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania’s PBS and NPR affiliate, will present a special program entitled, “Holocaust Warnings, American Antisemitism and Extremism” on Thursday, September 7th, at 9:00 p.m. This program follows a panel discussion and community conversation held at the WVIA studios in June, moderated by WVIA’s Julie Sidoni.

“This project was unlike anything I’d ever been involved in. It took a lot of time, collaboration and research. But it was an honor to interview some of the nation’s most accomplished experts on the topic,” said WVIA News Director, Julie Sidoni. “I hope this project starts important conversations in communities all around Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.” 

The program will feature an in-depth panel discussion with world-renowned scholars, two of which have ties to the local region. The panelists include Dr. David N. Myers, a Scranton native who is a distinguished Professor of History in the UCLA History Department and author or editor of more than 15 books in the field of Jewish history. Dr. Carol Rittner, RSM, born and raised in Camp Hill, PA, who is a distinguished Professor Emerita of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University in New Jersey, and the author or editor of 21 books and numerous essays about the Holocaust. Dr. Alex Alvarez, a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He studies collective and interpersonal violence and is also a published author on the subject, and Dr. Kelly McFall, a Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. His professional interests lie in the history of violence, especially comparative genocide. 

The program will also feature interviews with Holocaust survivors, descendants of Holocaust survivors, and several local high-school students who provide feedback on how the Holocaust and extremism are perceived by younger generations, particularly within the lens of how quickly hateful rhetoric can spread on social media.

“Holocaust Warnings is a timely program that is essential viewing for everyone. It is a reminder that the Holocaust was not inevitable and that we must all be vigilant in fighting against all forms of intolerance and discrimination.” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA’s Chief Content Officer. “At WVIA, we stand against hate, and our hope is that this program will help strengthen the voices of others that are willing to take that stand with us.”

This program examines the roles of the media and our education system in reporting on and educating others about the Holocaust, namely the importance of speaking out against hate as well as intolerance. The Holocaust Warnings production is only the first phase in a multi-year community conversations project for WVIA. 

“This initiative continues to evolve and grow,” says WVIA President and CEO, Carla McCabe. “What started out as a one-off program is now a multi-year initiative which will include an educational component and community outreach events as well as a podcast series on hate, which is currently in development.”

The program will be broadcast on WVIA TV and streamed live on the WVIA website. It will also be available on demand after the broadcast. Encore broadcasts will be aired on Friday, September 8th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm; Sunday, September 10th at 1:00 pm; Thursday, September 21st at 9:00 pm; and Friday, September 22nd at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. To learn more about Holocaust Warnings, please visit: https://www.wvia.org/holocaust-warnings