Each year the Shattuck Center hosts the Lemkin Reunion, a gathering named in honor of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer who lost his family in the Holocaust and first coined the word genocide. He campaigned tirelessly during his life to ensure that the crime of genocide was enshrined in international law. The Lemkin Reunion will gather policymakers involved in responding to atrocity crimes and assess the lessons they learned.
The first Reunion in October 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The second Reunion in October 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The third in March 2017 looked at the failures of the aid industry in Syria, with a group of activists and humanitarian workers from that country examining how the international community has responded. The fourth Reunion in February 2018 examined Syria's displaced and the obstacles to return. The fifth Reunion in March 2019 marked the eighth anniversary of the Syrian uprising and addressed the question of reconstruction as genocide.
The sixth Lemkin Reunion in April 2020 will examine the resurgence of “transactional” foreign policy and the challenges it poses for the prevention of atrocities and promotion of the rule of law.