The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

Toward Deeper Understanding

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, daughter of a Holocaust survivor and Julie Lindahl, granddaughter of an SS officer, relate their family legacies to the world today.

Julie Lindahl is an American-Swedish author and educator living in Sweden. She writes and speaks widely about her experiences, is a contributor to WBUR Cognoscenti and has been featured on National Public Radio several times. Julie holds a BA from Wellesley College, an MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Frankfurt, Germany. Raised in ten countries on three continents, she has worked globally as a consultant in the developing world. She is the founder of Stories for Society, a non-profit organization for renewing the art of storytelling for social transformation, which in 2018 launched “Voices Between: Stories Against Extremism,” an initiative aimed at creating a force for peace by building a global network of established authors demonstrating and discussing the impact of intolerance, extremism and war through their stories. WBUR 9.0 won the 2018 Edward R. Murrow award for excellence in innovation and the 2018 Associated Press Media Editor’s Award for innovation in storytelling based on a program series featuring her story.  In 2019 NPR’s Snap Judgment released “Quiet is Best,” a program about her relationship with her grandmother. In 2018 The American Embassy in Sweden provided a grant for the launch of her on-line learning program for schools and universities in tandem with the publication of “The Pendulum,” which has been critically acclaimed in the U.S. and a best-seller in Sweden.

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie is an author, human rights and children’s rights advocate, lawyer, philanthropist, and former television executive. Her memoir, Bending Toward the Sun, was published in 2009 by Harper Collins. She moderates panel discussions and publicly speaks on topics related to human rights and policy reform. Leslie is a member of Human Rights Watch’s International Board of Directors, and she has co-chaired HRW’s Los Angeles Committee. She is also a founding board member and past Board Chair of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, a legal rights organization for abused, at risk, and foster youth. In further advance of child welfare reform, Gilbert-Lurie served as the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Welfare, which led to policy change in Los Angeles County. Leslie also has worked to improve public education in a variety of settings. She is a member of the UCLA Foundation, the Board of Advisors to the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, and the UCLA Law School Board of Advisors. As a student at UCLA, she was the Student Regent, on the Board of Regents of the University of California. She served for over a decade on the Los Angeles County Board of Education, and she was President of that Board for three terms.

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