Premiere Of Rwanda Rising Is Sept. 1

Monday, August 13, 2007

In 1994, ethnic tensions in Rwanda led to the killings of nearly one million people in just 100 days -- a genocide that left the world asking "how and why?" But, according to former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, these are questions of the past. Somehow, the people of Rwanda have learned to forgive the unforgivable, and are living and working together to rebuild their country as a model of economic prosperity for the rest of Africa.

Young has set out to tell this story of reconciliation through his documentary film "Rwanda Rising." Ambassador Young will present his film and host a question and answer session along with His Excellency Eng. James Kimonyo, the Ambassador of Rwanda

Presented by the Arts & Education Council, Friends of Rwanda, Inc., and the UTC English Department, the event will be held Saturday, Sept. 1, at the UTC Benwood Auditorium from 5-8 p.m.

The event is open to the public, with a suggested minimum donation of $15 ($5 for students). Proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Rwanda, a Tennessee non-profit organization that provides academic scholarships for orphaned Rwandese children.

According to Friends of Rwanda Treasurer Yozefu Rugina, the need for scholarship assistance is great.

"Since the end of the war, thousands of children were left scattered in orphanages, with relatives who have limited resources, or on their own to struggle for survival. We receive over a hundred scholarship applications every year."

At its current capacity, the organization funds 12 children at an annual cost of $400 per student. Three will graduate this year. Its goal is to raise enough money to fund 30 students. That's why Rugina approached the Arts & Education Council -- known for its film programming in Chattanooga -- about co-sponsoring a fundraiser around the film Rwanda Rising.

"The event fits our mission to provide unique opportunities for lifelong learning and participation in the arts for all members of the community," says AEC Executive Director Susan Robinson. "It is a true honor to participate in this collaboration."
Rwanda Rising opened the 2007 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles earlier this year, to a sold out crowd and standing ovation. The film features interviews with Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Paul Wolfowitz of the World Bank.

Former President Bill Clinton also appears in the film, impressed with the way the two Rwandan ethnic groups have come together in villages that foster reconciliation.

"I never cease to be shocked by the way the Hutus and the Tutsis live together in these reconciliation villages, the stories they have of their experiences during that horrible period and their refusal to let it shape the rest of their lives," said President Clinton.

Andrew Young has been a civil rights activist, Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador. Today he lives in Atlanta and helps run a company called GoodWorks, International, a specialty consulting group that provides strategic services to corporations and governments operating in the global economy.

Ambassador Kimonyo represents the hopes and aspirations of not only the Rwandan people but of the entire African nation for the creation of a better Africa in a better world. He will speak about the years of reconstruction, justice and reconciliation that have followed the Rwandan Genocide. During his visit to Chattanooga, he will also meet with administrators at UTC to explore the possibilities of forming partnerships between American higher learning institutions and those in Rwanda.

For more information and to reserve seats, contact the Arts & Education Council at 267-1218.


Dalton Police Department Announces Promotions

The Dalton Police Department opened Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission with the introduction of a new officer. Dexter Kapur was introduced to the commission and he was confirmed by a unanimous 4-0 vote (commission member Keith Whitworth was not in attendance).   Officer Kapur graduated from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Police Academy ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Legislators Honored With 2014 Legislator Of The Year Awards By TN911

Three Hamilton County legislators were awarded the Legislator of the Year awards for 2014 by TN911, an association of Emergency Communications Districts across Tennessee. The 2014 President John Stuermer presented the awards on behalf of TN911 to Senator Bo Watson, Senator Todd Gardenhire and Representative Gerald McCormick.   Mr. Stuermer said, “It is my distinct honor, ... (click for more)

6,533 Apply For Chattanooga Housing Authority Voucher Program

The Chattanooga Housing Authority closed its Housing Choice Voucher Program application process Monday at 11:59 p.m. There were 6,533 applicants. CHA will randomly select 1,000 of those names on Monday, for the voucher program waiting list. Anyone who is not selected will need to apply again in the future.  The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal government program ... (click for more)

Times Free Press Pays Bonuses, Has Layoffs

The Chattanooga Times Free Press told employees on Monday that the newspaper had improved financial performance over the prior year quarters and employees were receiving two percent bonuses. Sources said at the same time, the newspaper announced some layoffs. Those include four people in the newsroom and an unspecified number in other departments. Bruce Hartmann, president, ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)