This essay is intended for teachers. It is not seen as simply setting out the history of the genocide in Rwanda; that has been done elsewhere. Instead, this article addresses four conceptual fields associated with the genocide, and asks two questions of them: how do these issues become important in understanding the genocide, and how does understanding the genocide illuminate these themes? The themes explored include ethnicity, outside influences, gender issues, and ecological issues. None of these issues are unique to Rwanda; therefore, there is a danger in “distancing” genocide to some remote, “exotic” locale: it has occurred in North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as Africa. Because it results from the conjunction of influences and actions widely present in the world today, genocide needs to be addressed direcdy, and understood, not neglected. This article is intended as a step in this process.