Alison Des Forges

Alison L. Des Forges.

An internationally recognized authority on human rights abuses, Alison Des Forges tirelessly advocated on behalf of citizens of Central Africa as a senior advisor to the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.

The Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund—created in memory of the historian and human rights activist who died in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 near Buffalo in 2009—will support Buffalo Public Schools graduates who are committed to studying human rights and social justice.

UB faculty member Roger Des Forges, PhD, a professor of history, said that the scholarship grew out of a desire to pay tribute to the causes his late wife held dear.

“We want to keep her memory alive and advance the causes she devoted her life to: one of those was improving K-12 public education in Buffalo; another was protecting human rights in central Africa,” he said. Her landmark book, “Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda,” awakened the world to the horrors of the 1994 killings in that nation.

The scholarship is open to Buffalo Public School graduates who enroll at UB in any major.  A. Scott Weber, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, said that UB is proud to have created this opportunity for future students.

“To know that each year a student from the Buffalo Public Schools will be helped for the next four years as they pursue the same goals that Alison Des Forges worked for with such tenacity will be a lasting tribute,” Weber said.