Interviews with Survivors | April GAPM film series starts April 1 (tomorrow)

Hi everyone,

Living Ubuntu volunteer, Alicia Buly, has been meeting with survivors of genocide and interviewing them for our blog. These pieces are absolutely essential reading. Many of these survivors will be speakers at the April film series events. Three of the interviews are below.

When we heard that the international soldiers were leaving the country, it was a disappointment. We were discouraged then. It was like a betrayal. They were betraying us. – Edith Umugiraneza
Finding Strength in Testimony – An Interview with Edith Umugiraneza (April 1 – Rwanda)

My grandmother asked: “Are there any Armenians left?” What she and her companion had witnessed during the deportation made them think they were the only Armenians left in the world. – Levon Marashlian
Activism Through Education – An Interview with Levon Marashlian (April 2 – Armenian)

My grandmother talked about how peaceful life was before the genocide… …after the Khmer Rouge, everything changed. – Zaklin Phat
Cambodia’s Past Shapes America’s Future – An Interview with Zaklin Phat (April 3 – Cambodia)

Continue reading

Could you ever forgive the people who slaughtered your family?

“…one of the main aims of the gacaca was to achieve truth, justice and reconciliation among Rwandans. Gacaca means to sit down and discuss an issue. The hearings gave communities a chance to face the accused and give evidence about what really happened and how it happened. …many people in Rwanda say this process [has] helped to mend the wounds of the past.” (src)

Hi everyone,

Where were you in April 1994? Did you know about the genocide in Rwanda? 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. How is that even possible?

It seems like it only entered mainstream consciousness in 2004 when Don Cheadle starred in Hotel Rwanda.

In April 2014, we will be twenty years on from the Rwanda genocide and it begs the question: what can we learn from it? Continue reading

We survive because we can love.

Humankind would not have endured and cannot continue without the capacity to form rewarding, nurturing, and enduring relationships. We survive because we can love. And we can love because we can empathize — that is, stand in another’s shoes and care about what it feels like to be there.
 – Bruce Perry & Maia Szalavitz

Hi everyone,

June 25, 2009 is a date of great historical significance. It is the day Michael Jackson died. Seeking to process the shock and heartbreak brought on by the suddenness of his passing, people spoke of little else that day, especially in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, also on that day, Martina Knee, of the San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, flew in to LAX, as I drove up from Orange County (and got distinctly, profoundly lost), in order to meet with Peter Marcus, of Jewish World Watch, in his Los Angeles law office. As Carl Wilkens Fellows (an anti-genocide leadership program) our meeting was to discuss a possible statewide initiative: to get the state of California to pass legislation for April to receive the official designation, Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Continue reading

Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future: April 1 (Rwanda)

April 2014 Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month

Surviving is more than just staying alive; surviving is learning how to live again.
– Carl Wilkens

Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future

A free six-event commemorative film series featuring stories of survivors and their children

My Neighbor, My Killer (2011)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Reception: 5p – 6p, Program: 6p – 8p

Soka University of America

Pauling 216 (reception in the adjacent plaza)
1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
campus map
(See below for free PARKING details.)
Speakers:  Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli, Michelle Hobby-Mears, Delly Nzella, Edith Umugiraneza, Kristi Wilson
Space is limited.

Camp Darfur, a traveling, awareness-raising six-tent refugee camp exhibit, (one for each genocide being commemorated in April), will be on campus outside the dining hall in the Campus Green area beginning at noon.
Community booths from our partnering organizations will be set up at the reception. Continue reading