Africa has largely been portrayed as a site of perpetual misery, with stereotypes in the public, and among students and scholars. The generalizations make it one of the most misunderstood social, political, and cultural spaces – a perception the UNM International Studies Institute (ISI) is looking to combat. 

UNM's ISI Fall Lecture Series addresses the question of "Peacemaking in Africa" to create a greater understanding of Africa's past and colonial-era narratives that shape this negative perception. Speakers will explore alternative ways to understand Africa's troubles and examine efforts to counter this view by focusing on peace-making and community-building efforts across Africa.

The upcoming lecture is titled “ICYIZERE (hope): Reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda” and will be given by Patrick Mureithi, musician and documentary filmmaker. 

It will be Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The lecture will last about a half hour, followed by a Q&A session in the SUB Fiesta Rooms A&B. It is free and open to the public.

Given New Mexico's similar history of violence and silenced pasts, and its current status as a federal relocation site for African refugees, these lectures situate healing and peace-building at the center of public conversation. 

This series on peacemaking highlights two issues; the historic connection between the past and contemporary life in Africa and the United States, and the tenacity of the human spirit to reconcile and rebuild. Speakers will address how local communities and individuals learn from violent pasts to reconfigure their current socio-political and economic conditions. 

All speakers are scholars of peacemaking and reconciliation in Africa or people who have experienced such practices. Through different humanities lenses, their presentations engage New Mexicans to enhance understanding of the context of violence and its lasting impact on society.

The Fall 2019 Lecture Series is supported in part by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of New Mexico Honors College and the UNM World Affairs Delegation. Lectures are held every Thursday through Nov. 21 – click here to read more