Yerevan/Mediamax/. First Aurora Dialogues of 2018 took place in New York.
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, hosted distinguished members of the humanitarian community in an event titled “Solidarity Beyond Borders: Stepping Up When Others Step Back”.
The event was focused on what moves people to risk their lives and stand up for others in challenging situations.
“We are honored to join the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative in promoting the generosity of the human spirit, as this is also a positive legacy of the September 11, 2001 attacks,” 9/11 Memorial &Museum President Alice Greenwald said.
A keynote presentation was delivered by Philip Zimbardo, famed psychologist, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, and Founder and President of the Heroic Imagination Project. The address focused on the psychological reasoning and response to heroism, highlighting the ways in which people can learn to step up while others step back.
In a panel discussion moderated by Washington Post Columnist David Ignatius, 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate Marguerite Barankitse spoke about her own experience facing and overcoming adversity.
The panel also featured Lieutenant Bill Keegan, Retired Port Authority Police Department Lieutenant, Special Ops, who was Night Operations Commander of the World Trade Center Rescue/Recovery Teams at Ground Zero from September 11, 2001 until the end of the recovery, which was marked on May 30, 2002. Lieutenant Keegan is now the Founder and President of H.E.A.R.T. 9/11 (Healing Emergency Aid Response Team), working to respond to disasters, rebuild community centers in hard-hit areas.
“Maggy and Lieutenant Bill Keegan embody courage and the incredible journey of those who have overcome adversity. In Maggy’s case, after being saved herself, she went on to save thousands of others,” said Vartan Gregorian, Co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
“The impact of the cycle of giving is one of the core values of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. These heroes have risked their lives. At the very least, the rest of us can give our support to them and their causes so that the spirit of generosity and human values are upheld,” he added.
The next Aurora Dialogues will take place in Yerevan this June as part of a weekend of events culminating in the presentation of the 2018 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity.