Press Release

January 12, 2016
Cardin Welcomes Nomination of Dr. Ethel Brooks to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, commended the nomination of Dr. Ethel Brooks to serve as a member of the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Council. Senator Cardin, who also serves as Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, had recommended the appointment of Dr. Brooks to the White House.


“Seven decades after the Nazis destroyed the so-called ‘Gypsy Family Camp,’ killing 2,879 Romani men, women and children in a single night, I welcome the President’s decision to appoint Dr. Ethel Brooks as a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.  The Holocaust Memorial Museum is our country’s pre-eminent federal body entrusted with preserving the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and advancing knowledge, teaching and research related all aspects of the Holocaust.  I am confident that Dr. Brooks will contribute greatly to those goals.  Much more must be done to teach about the genocide of Roma and to combat pernicious bigotry and discrimination against Roma.


“Shockingly, theories of race and biology continue to be used to rationalize discrimination against Roma.  I am deeply disturbed by discourse in the Slovak Government seeking to explain away Slovakia’s segregated schools by advancing absolutely offensive and unfounded theories of race and biology.  I urge the Slovak Government to ensure that Roma are not the subject of medical studies without full and informed consent, that the privacy rights of Roma are fully respected, and that the sterilization without informed consent of Romani women be acknowledged and redressed.  Finally, I urge the authorities in Bratislava to end the practice of some municipalities of building walls to separate Roma from other citizens.  These walls have no place in modern Europe.”


From the White House announcement:  

Dr. Ethel Brooks is an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University, where she has held various positions since 2001.  Dr. Brooks was Undergraduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University from 2012 to 2014.  She has been a Tate-TrAIN Transnational Fellow at the University of the Arts London since 2012, where she was also US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair from 2011 to 2012.  Dr. Brooks serves as a member of a number of  boards and commissions, including the USC Shoah Foundation, the European Roma Rights Centre, and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis.  She also served as a Public Member of the United States Delegation to the Human Dimension Implementation meetings of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and is a member of the United States Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and its Roma Genocide Working Group.  Dr. Brooks received a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. from New York University.