Webinar: Using Star Wars to Teach International Humanitarian Law

Prepare for the jump to lightspeed with the Canadian Red Cross and American Red Cross as we journey from the Death Star to Dagobah. We’ll explore IHL using Star Wars films and TV shows to model how to use fiction as a method to teach IHL. Links to classroom resources will be highlighted by the presenters.

Date: February 23rd, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Register here.

Learn more about our speakers below:

Thomas Harper serves as the Senior Legal Advisor in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for the American Red Cross. In that capacity, he leads the Red Cross IHL Program, which carries out the nation’s mandate to disseminate IHL to the American public under the Geneva Conventions.

Thomas has spent his adult life in uniform, having originally enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school.  He has spent more than 12 years as an Army Judge Advocate officer (military attorney), serving in a variety of roles including as a prosecutor, Special Victim Counsel, and as an Operational Law attorney in Afghanistan, where he practiced IHL in a combat environment. He still serves in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he holds the rank of Major.

Thomas also writes and podcasts for The Legal Geeks, an American Bar Association Top 100 legal blog, where he uses Star Wars to teach about a wide variety of legal topics, including IHL. Thomas regularly uses Star Wars as a lens to teach about complex IHL topics on the national stage, having presented at some of the largest pop culture conventions, including San Diego Comic-Con and Star Wars Celebration (Disney’s official Star Wars convention).

Joyce Kim, (BA, BEd, MET) is honoured to reside and work on the traditional unceded territories of the Semiahmoo First Nation in South Surrey, BC. She has been a passionate advocate of English Language and Literature learning for over 20 years overseas and locally in her hometown of Vancouver, BC. With her interest and research in genocide studies, in particular Holocaust education, she has incorporated the EHL program into her curriculum. She is the Curriculum Leader and an instructor in the English department, and also an Instructional Coach at an independent school in South Surrey, BC.

Andrea McArthur, Andrea McArthur has worked with the Canadian Red Cross for many years as a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and program coordinator. She has developed and facilitated several workshops about youth engagement and leadership, social justice and diversity, humanitarian issues, and International Humanitarian Law. Andrea holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brock University and a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University with course work focusing on community building, group facilitation, program management and research. Her Master’s thesis investigated the impact of services provided by youth engaged in indirect volunteering in the Greater Toronto Area. Andrea is passionate about tracking the impact that public education has on attitude & behaviour change. In her current line of work training teachers in Humanitarian Education, Andrea values success stories from students and teachers discussing International Humanitarian Law in the classroom.

Sophie Rondeau is currently Director and Legal Advisor at the Canadian Red Cross, in the International Humanitarian Law team. She started with the Red Cross in 2005 as the HIP (Humanitarian Issues Program) coordinator for Québec; she then held various legal and governance functions in the organization. She graduated from Université de Montreal’s Law Faculty, holds a Masters’ degree in International Law from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), a Doctorate in Law from Université de Genève and Université Laval (granted SSHRC and FRQSC scholarships), and is a member of the Quebec Bar (2003 / articled at the ICTY). In the last 15 years, she has been a researcher, guest speaker and lecturer in various Canadian universities and she has worked in institutions such as the Diakonia IHL Centre, Rights & Democracy and the Jean-Pictet Competition. She is a member of UQAM’s Alumni committee, she sits on the Board of Directors of L’Itinéraire and Canada’s Amnesty International Francophone section. She currently lives on the island of Tiohtiá:ke\Montreal with her husband and 2 sons.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact us at [email protected]