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.


CARTA Parking Spots Are Free On The Fourth

The Chattanooga Parking Authority has announced downtown parking meters will not be enforced (and need not be paid) on Saturday in honor of the Independence Day holiday. Paid parking for all street meters will also be suspended for these remaining holidays in 2015:                    ... (click for more)

2015 Freedom Celebration To Be Held Saturday

A 2015 Freedom Celebration will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church, at  1275 Stuart Road, in Cleveland. Those in attendance will be Mayor Tom Rowland, Rev. Steve Morgan, Viet Nam veteran Steve Orders, Homeland Harmony Quartet, Ryan Wilson, Jack Clark, David Goodwill, Bill Curtiss, and Bethany McCoy, the McCoy First Baptist Choir/Orchestra, Tyler Brinson, ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)