2017 Fellowship Concludes at the Ife Institute of Advanced Studies- Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria…but it’s not the end!


At the Mythological Center of the World, A Unique Pedagogical Initiative Launches in Nigeria

Today is the last day of the Ife Institute of Advanced Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. I am proud to have been a part of the first cohort of Fellows to participate in the IAS Summer Seminar, the first initiative of the Institute. I would like to thank Professor Jacob K. Olupona from Harvard University and all of my Nigerian colleagues and friends for welcoming me to their country, for teaching me invaluable lessons about interdisciplinary research, rethinking mentorship and communities of thinkers, and renewing my dedication to research that will not just “sit on a shelf,” but will impact the world. Please see the article above, published in the Huffington Post with my colleague, teacher, and friend Dr. Laura Grillo from Georgetown University. Enjoy!

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Meeting the courageous women of Rwanda who testified at the trial featured in THE UNCONDEMNED


THE UNCONDEMNED, a film by Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel

I had the pleasure of participating in the international launch of the feature documentary “The Uncondemned,” a film by my friend and colleague Michele Mitchell, and Nick Louvel. In New York, I met witnesses JJ, NN, and OO, who are rape survivors and who testified at the ICTR in 1997 in the landmark case Prosper v. Akayesu. This was the first case to try an individual for genocide, including acts of rape and sexual violence.

In basic Kinyarwanda and lengthy French, I got to know these wonderful women, Serafina, Victoire, Cecile, and Godelieve, founder of SEVOTA, an organization dedicated to supporting widows and survivors of rape after the genocide. These women traveled from their small town of Taba, Rwanda, to New York City, for the film launch.

On Wednesday, October 19, we joined over 700 people in screening the film at the United Nations, with remarks by Mr. Adama Dieng, Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura of the United Nations, Amb. Pierre Prosper, Michele Mitchell, Godelieve, and others.

On Sunday October 23, I had the privilege of moderating a panel with these phenomenal women and the film director Michele, at Eileen Fisher in SoHo. Eileen Fisher is a corporate sponsor of the film.

Please enjoy the photos below, and go see the film! Click here for screenings!

News and Updates! Op-Eds, Meetings, Lectures!


This has been a very exciting few months! Here are a few updates.

World Policy Institute Blog, July 22, 2016screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-11-28-pm

September 17-19 The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) hosted a three-day international conference “After Genocide: From Trauma to Rebirth, a Gendered Perspective” at AGBU Armenia Hall in Yerevan. I contributed an Op-Ed about gender and genocide.

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I also met Maggy Barankitse, founder of Maison Shalom in Burundi, and Aurora Prize Laureate, who was awarded $1.1 million last April for her humanitarian work.

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Thanks to Google Cambridge for inviting me to give a Talk@Google at the Google office on September 20, 2016! Stay tuned for the YouTube video coming soon.

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New Article: Where is the Hope for Burundi?


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Where is the Hope for Burundi?

About a month before returning to Rwanda, I was contacted by members of the Burundian diaspora community in NYC and Washington, DC, who were very concerned about the atrocities taking place in Burundi. With the hashtag #BurundiCrisis and #Burundi1YearofCrimes trending, I was also concerned about the increasing deadly violence in Burundi, closely linked to the country of Rwanda, which I care about so much. Upon returning to Rwanda in mid-May, I realized that the Burundian community in Kigali also needed help and representation, and so I wrote the following policy article on the commemoration of one year of preventable atrocities in Burundi. Thanks to Andrew Mwenda and The Independent Magazine in Uganda and Rwanda for publishing it. Please read, share, and reflect. I hope to write an update to this article soon, now that the peace negotiations in Arusha have begun and will continue.

 

Amahoro to all.