The Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) and Facing History and Ourselves cordially invite you to join Distinguished Speaker Carl Wilkens on Thursday, March 15 from 6-7:30pm as he shares his inspirational personal account of the Rwandan genocide. (Please RSVP to Echo Cai at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 12; event is in the High School Amphitheatre with a wine and snack reception immediately following.)
Carl Wilkins is the former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda. He moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide, which killed 800,000 people, 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. His choice to stay and try to help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide.
Wilkens was featured in Frontline’s "Ghosts of Rwanda" and "The Few Who Stayed: Defying Genocide," an American Radio Works documentary which aired on National Public Radio. His story reminds us of the profound connection between history and the moral choices we face each day. It also arms us with new insights in the fight against genocide along with tools and inspiration for re-evaluating the relationships we are part of every day. Wilkens’ humanitarian work has been recognized with several awards including the Dignitas Humana Award from Saint John’s School of Theology Seminary and a 2005 Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Wilkens asks if we really do believe what we see, or is it more often that we see what we believe, which makes exploring what we believe about ourselves and others so important in shaping the world we are a part of. Wilkens teaches us how one person really can make a difference.