Memorial Dedicated in Delaware Park to Honor Dr. Alison L. Des Forges,

“One of the Greatest Advocates for Human Rights in Our Time”


October 27, 2012

In honor of “one of the greatest advocates for human rights in our time”, as she was called by Human Rights Watch, the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Committee, as a tribute to her life and work, planted three trees and dedicated a memorial bench next to the path in Delaware Park where she regularly walked. The bench is located on the Nottingham side of Delaware Park along the Ring Road cinder path between the zoo and food kiosk.

As the Senior Advisor to the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, Alison Des Forges was returning home to Buffalo from a presentation about the Rwandan genocide to the British Parliament when she died in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 on February 12, 2009.  

An influential historian of Africa and a leading human rights activist, Dr. Des Forges was also a forceful advocate for public education in Buffalo.

At the memorial dedication, the people listed below spoke.  Copies of some of their remarks are available:          

The Plaque on the Bench

1. Helene Kramer

2. Eileen Buermann, Paula Schenk, and Jan Dombkowski - talked of their experiences with Alison at Bennett Park Montessori School when she volunteered there for many years

3. Irving Massey Remarks

4. Roger Des Forges Remarks