When the 1994 Rwandan genocide broke out, Carl Wilkens was the only American who refused to leave the country.
In 2011, Wilkens completed the book “I’m Not Leaving” to detail those days. A 40-minute documentary by the same title was later released.
Join Maryland Hall on January 31 at 7:30pm to see the film and to engage in a discussion with Wilkens.
His storytelling does not stop with Rwanda’s tragic history, but moves forward to the powerful and inspiring 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 – what we do next after terrible choices.
This harrowing, yet hopeful, documentary weaves together a story of tremendous risk and fierce compassion in the face of one of the most violent moments of the 20th century. Wilkens 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.
After the screening, Wilkens will speak about his recent visits to Rwanda, as well as his personal stories from the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The event is presented by Maryland Hall and Connect Rwanda in partnership with St. Anne's School of Annapolis. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit www.marylandhall.org.
HEADSHOT, Carl Wilkens