Author Power to Keynote April 23 Commemoration of Rwandan Genocide

U.S. Newswire (press release), DC
April 20 2004

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Samantha Power to Keynote April 23
Commemoration of Rwandan Genocide Anniversary

To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor

Contact: NCC Media, 212-870-2252 or [email protected]

News Advisory:

An April 23 event at the Fowler Museum, on the campus of the
University of California at Los Angeles, will commemorate the 10th
anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in which more than 800,000 died.

The National Council of Churches (NCC) is sponsoring the event,
“Remembering Rwanda – Ten Years After the Genocide.”

A 6 p.m. premiere screening of the film “God Sleeps in Rwanda” will
precede the 7 p.m. keynote address by Samantha Power, Lecturer in
Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She
won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell:
America and the Age of Genocide.”

Also speaking: NCC General Secretary Robert Edgar; Dr. Richard Hrair
Dekmejian, Professor of Political Science at the University of
Southern California and an expert on the Armenian Genocide, and Rabbi
Allen I. Freehling, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Human
Relations Commission.

The program will include testimonies by Rwandan Genocide survivors
and will close with a presentation of Rwandan music and dance.

Samantha Power is a leading authority on genocide. In “A Problem from
Hell,” she analyzes the genocides of the 20th century and the failure
of the international community, including the United States, to
prevent them.

She writes: “No U.S. president has ever made genocide prevention a
priority, and no U.S. president has ever suffered politically for his
indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that
genocide rages on.”

In The New York Times April 6, Power warned, “On this anniversary,
Western and United Nations leaders are expressing their remorse and
pledging their resolve to prevent future humanitarian catastrophes.
But as they do so, the Sudanese government is teaming up with Arab
Muslim militias in a campaign of ethnic slaughter and deportation
that has already left nearly a million Africans displaced and more
than 30,000 dead. Again, the United States and its allies are
bystanders to slaughter, seemingly no more prepared to prevent
genocide than they were a decade ago.”

Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC associate general secretary for
international affairs and peace, said identifying proactive steps to
prevent such horrors “is crucial for all of us, especially at a time
when, in places like Sudan, the situation is looking alarmingly
familiar. Can we afford not to learn the lessons of Rwanda?”