Restorative Justice: Lessons from Rwanda in Healing and Building Peace

Restorative Justice: Lessons from Rwanda in Healing and Building Peace

This is a past event

Carl Wilkens, the only American who remained in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, will give a talk on healing and building peace. His presentation will include original photographs and video clips.

As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide was launched in April 1994, Carl refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, his church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates evacuated and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. Carl was the only American to remain in the country. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. His actions saved the lives of hundreds.

Carl returned to the United States in 1996. After being featured in the 2004 PBS Frontline documentary, "Ghosts of Rwanda", about the Rwanda genocide, he began to receive letters, phone calls and offers from teachers around the country to come and share his experiences with students.

In January 2008, with no end in sight to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, Carl decided to quit his job and dedicate himself full time to accepting these invitations.  He and his wife Teresa have since formed an educational nonprofit, World Outside My Shoes, to facilitate this important work. 

In 2011 Wilkens released his first book entitled I’m Not Leaving. It is based on tapes he made to his wife and children during the genocide.

More information:

Carl Wilkens
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