Former Head of Adventist Development & Relief Agency International
Monday, April 15 | 7 PM | McShain Auditorium
Topic: Ability to Respond: Eyewitness Stories from the Rwandan Genocide
Carl Wilkens, former head of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) in Rwanda, will speak on Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. in McShain Performing Arts Center at Rosemont College. Wilkens’ lecture is titled, “Ability to Respond — Eyewitness Stories from the Rwandan Genocide.” Wilkens’ books will be available for purchase and he will participate in a book signing after the event. The lecture is free and open to all and sponsored by the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility at Rosemont College.
Wilkens, a humanitarian aid worker, was the only American to remain in Kigali, Rwanda, once the genocide began in 1994. Each day Wilkens ventured out into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire to bring food, water and medicine to orphans trapped around the city. His choice to stay and help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide.
Wilkens will speak about his experiences and personal first-hand accounts of life for the people of Rwanda as their country collapsed, as well as stories of those who stood up against the killers. He will also focus on the courage and resilience of the people he witnessed facing horrendous choices in the middle of the unimaginable slaughter. The core of Wilkens’ message is that “stories and service” are our most effective tools to build peace and eliminate “us and them” thinking.