GCC Hosts Mental Health Month Events

David Kaczynski, Unabomber's Brother, to Share Personal Story

Batavia, NY- The Wellness Center at Genesee Community College is pleased to partner with the Mental Health Association in Genesee County for a presentation by David Kaczynski, brother of Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber. The presentation is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 in the Stuart Steiner Theatre on GCC’s Batavia campus.

David Kaczynski helped authorities capture his brother, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, in 1996 after reading the so-called Unabomber Manifesto, a 35,000-word essay Ted wrote about the problems of modern society. Kaczynski will share his personal story of mental illness in his family, the emotional struggle and responsibility he felt to notify authorities and his continued activism in community efforts to end violence and increase awareness about mental health.

A gifted mathematician, Ted Kaczynski became a college professor, but resigned after just two years and moved to Montana where he took up a survivalist life in isolation, developing anti-government and anti-technology philosophies. He made his first bomb in 1978, sending it to a professor at Northwestern University. He then sent two bombs to the president of American Airlines. The FBI dubbed the case UNABOM, for University and Airline Bombing, and the suspect was termed the Unabomber. Over a 17-year period, his explosive packages killed three people and injured 22 others. Ted Kaczynski is currently serving four life sentences for the bombings at a Federal Correctional Facility in Colorado. David has said he writes to his brother without response.

Today David serves as Executive Director of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Buddhist Monastery in Woodstock, NY. Previously, David served a dozen years as Executive Director of New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NYAPD) where he played a vital role in bringing an end to death penalty laws in New York and other states. Prior to joining NYAPD, David served as Assistant Director of the Equinox Shelter, a shelter for runaway and homeless youth, in Albany, NY.

In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month, GCC will display the exhibit “Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family” in the lobby of the College’s Genesee Center for the Arts throughout the month of May. The exhibit is a museum-quality photo-text traveling exhibit featuring photographs and interviews with families whose lives are affected by mental illness. The compelling accounts demonstrate strength, courage, integrity and accomplishment in the face of the adversity and stigma of mental illness. By bringing visibility to these individuals and families, “Nothing to Hide” dispels harmful stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions about mental illness. The display is made possible with funds from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

The community is invited to view the exhibit at a pre-talk reception on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6 p.m. David Kaczynski’s presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Space is limited. Pre-registration is requested by calling the Mental Health Association at (585) 344-2611. A suggested donation of $10 is appreciated.

For more information, contact GCC Wellness Director Roberta Noto at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6293 or by email RMNoto@genesee.edu or Sue Gagne, Assistant Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Genesee County at (585) 344-2611.

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Editor’s Note:
A photo of David Kaczynski is available here: