On Thursday April 22nd, the Virginia Holocaust Museum hosted a special presentation and conversation with author and storyteller Carl Wilkens. For over a decade, Carl Wilkens has been sharing stories around the globe to inspire and equip people to “enter the world of The Other.”
Carl was the only American who chose to stay in Kigali, Rwanda throughout the 1994 genocide. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. Working with Rwandan colleagues, they helped save the lives of hundreds.
Carl’s storytelling does not stop with Rwanda’s tragic history, but moves forward to the powerful recovery process. Among the many lessons he shares from his experience is the transformative belief that we don’t have to be defined by what we lost or our worst choices. We can be defined by what we do with what remains. Rwanda’s story is a powerful platform to launch meaningful conversations under the broad umbrella of learning to live together.
Carl’s book, “I’m Not Leaving,” is available for purchase through the Virginia Holocaust Museum Shop. Books are $10 plus tax. Museum members receive a 10% discount. Please contact Shop Manager, Kara Yurina to purchase, 804-257-5400 ext. 238.
Learn More About Carl’s Organization, World Outside My Shoes here
Visit the Museum’s YouTube Channel to hear from Rwandan genocide survivors