Converse STAND Chapter to Co-Host Event about Rwandan Genocide, Featuring Guest Speaker Carl Wilkens


Two local non-profits, Globalbike and STAND, are collaborating to highlight the atrocities committed during the Rwandan genocide and to discuss ways to help with the aftermath and how to also prevent future human rights violations from occurring. The event, “Africa, Art, & Action,” will take place at the Showroom in downtown Spartanburg on Monday, November 8th at 7 pm.

Globalbike, a Spartanburg-based organization focused on providing transportation to care workers in developing nations, and the Converse College STAND chapter, a local branch of the national student anti-genocide coalition, have partnered to create this event. Guest speaker Carl Wilkens, formerly director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Rwanda (also known as ADRA), will be present to speak of his experiences as the last American to remain in Kigali after the genocide broke out. During his time in Spartanburg he will also travel to local schools to deliver presentations on his unique perspective of the genocide.

Paintings from local artists will be for sale and the proceeds will go to Globalbike’s current Rwandan initiatives. An advocacy table will also be set up so people can take political action on other conflicts in the developing world. There will be refreshments available as well.

“The work that we are doing is clear evidence that Spartanburg can create a constituency that cares about global issues,” says Madison Webb, co-founder and co-leader of the Converse College STAND group. “I am so pleased with the collaborative efforts of both STAND and Globalbike.”

Members of Converse STAND are calling attention to the atrocities that were committed in Rwanda in 1994. By working with organizations such as Globalbike, developing nations can move forward towards reconciliation and peace, as Rwanda is in the process of doing.

STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition ( comprises more than 700 high school and college chapters throughout the United States and internationally. STAND mobilizes students to take action to prevent genocide by educating, advocating, and fundraising for civilian protection. STAND is the student division of the Genocide Intervention Network.

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