Chair, Global Implementation Board
Aegis Champions of Humanity
Beth is a freelance film producer, Board member of several non-profits, and a shareholder and Director in her family business, Musco Lighting. She has a life-long commitment to the critical importance of civility. In 2001, she helped launch the National Civility Center. This was followed by a move into film and TV production, including the award-winning teen-drama TV series One Tree Hill. In 2012, during a hiatus from her film career, she volunteered in Rwanda, beginning a new chapter in her life. It was through Beth’s visits to Rwanda that she came to know Aegis Trust and its Champion Humanity™ initiative. Beth is also a musician and art collector, a graduate of Augustana College, Illinois, with an Arts Baccalaureate in Theatre and Psychology. She splits her time between her residence in Wilmington (NC, USA), Rwanda and her home state of Iowa, USA.
The Aegis Trust works to prevent future genocides and to promote humanity. We do this primarily through research, education and the dissemination of information and advice.
Aegis understands genocidal violence as an extreme outcome of a pathway of inhumanity, which can be countered at early stages, similar to disease prevention. Aegis recognizes that nutrition and food security are critical in this process, along with livelihoods, education and health.
Aegis has a global mission, with headquarters in the UK. Aegis has developed a methodology through its work in the UK and Rwanda that transforms hearts and minds. Referred to as Champion Humanity™, this methodology changes attitudes, leading to the creation of new and strengthening existing efforts towards building peace and social cohesion, key factors for food security.
The story of Aegis began 40 years ago by a single family from the UK. The Smith family established a small retreat house in 1978, which was to become the first Holocaust education centre in the UK, opening in 1995. This led to the formation of Aegis in 1999, and then the creation of the Kigali Genocide Memorial in 2004 and the Aegis Champion Humanity™ initiative.