Archived Story

Summit features lessons from Rwanda

Published 6:18am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Andrews University “Summit on Social Consciousness: Lessons from Rwanda” will take place from Wednesday through Saturday at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Howard Performing Arts Center.

The summit, sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, the Seminary Student Forum, and the School of Graduate Studies, asks the question “How will I react in times of conflict?”
The keynote speaker is Carl Wilkens, cofounder of World Outside My Shoes and former Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Rwanda director. Wilkens was the only American to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Wilkens’ address will take place at the Howard Performing Arts Center at 11 a.m.  Saturday.

The Summit on Social Consciousness is based on the premise “character is not formed in a time of crisis; character in revealed in a time of crisis,” Christon Arthur, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, said.

“Therefore, it is in a time of ease that character is formed. This summit is intended to raise awareness of social injustices and discuss the Seventh-day Adventist Christian response to these injustices. It will cause us to examine ourselves and ask, if we as an academic community, are more likely to protect those who share our theological beliefs and look like us? And, are we more likely to not protect those who are different ideologically, culturally, ethnically, or otherwise? This will prod us to move beyond tolerating diversity and differences in others to accepting diversity and differences in others.”

• Wednesday: 7 p.m., prayer meeting at Pioneer Memorial Church features testimonies from survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

•Thursday: 7 p.m. “Sometimes in April,” a film based on the 1994 genocide, will be shown in Newbold Auditorium at Buller Hall. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

•Friday: A women’s event at 2 pm. will be led by Heather-Dawn Small, the General Conference Director of Women’s Ministries.
At 6 p.m. Carl Wilkens will speak.

• Saturday: An interview with Carl and Teresa Wilkens will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Howard Performing Arts Center.

At 11 a.m. Carl Wilkens will speak. Breakout sessions are at 3 and 4 p.m. on topics ranging from “Violence Against Women: End It Now!” led by Heather-Dawn Small to “The Causes of Ethnic Conflict and the Role of the Church” with Leonard Gashugi to “Personal Ethics: Our Responsibility” led by Ann Gibson.

The Summit closes with a concert in the Seminary Chapel and a closing message from Carl Wilkens at 5:30 p.m.

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