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.



John Shearer: Barbara Bush Visited Chattanooga At Least 6 Times

As Americans are saying goodbye and paying their respects to former First Lady Barbara Bush following her death  on Tuesday , her face has been shown numerous times on television and in newspapers.   For the last three decades or so, she was a pretty familiar face in Chattanooga as well.   A look at the files in the local history section of the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Alton Park Street Fest & Clean Up Set Up Saturday

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and District 7 Councilman Erskine Oglesby are teaming up with multiple city of Chattanooga departments for the inaugural Alton Park Street Fest & Clean Up on Saturday.  “The purpose of this event is to empower District 7 constituents and the surrounding communities to take part in the revitalization of their neighborhood,” said Councilman ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)