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Summit on Social Consciousness

Date: April 10, 2012

The Andrews University “Summit on Social Consciousness: Lessons from Rwanda” will take place from April 11-14, at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Howard Performing Arts Center. The summit, sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, the Seminary Student Forum, and the School of Graduate Studies, asks the question of its audiences, “How will I react in times of conflict?”
The keynote speaker for the event is Carl Wilkens, cofounder of World Outside My Shoes and former Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Rwanda director. Wilkens was the only American to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Wilkens’ address will take place at the Howard Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m.
The Summit on Social Consciousness is based on the premise “that character is not formed in a time of crisis; character in revealed in a time of crisis,” says Christon Arthur, dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “Therefore, it is in a time of ease that character is formed. This summit is intended to raise awareness of social injustices and discuss the Seventh-day Adventist Christian response to these injustices. It will cause us to examine ourselves and ask, if we as an academic community, are more likely to protect those who share our theological beliefs and look like us? And, are we more likely to not protect those who are different ideologically, culturally, ethnically, or otherwise? This will prod us to move beyond tolerating diversity and differences in others to accepting diversity and differences in others.”   

Carl Wilkens, a featured speaker for  “Summit on Social
Consciousness: Lessons from Rwanda,” was the only American
to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
The summit opens with a prayer meeting on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in Pioneer Memorial Church, featuring testimonies from survivors of the Rwandan genocide. On Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in Newbold Auditorium of Buller Hall, the Graduate Student Association Forum will present a showing of Sometimes in April, a film based on the 1994 genocide. The film screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
Friday, April 13 features a women’s event led by Heather-Dawn Small, General Conference Director of Women’s Ministries, at 2 p.m. in the Seminary. At 6 p.m., Carl Wilkens will be also be speaking in the Seminary Chapel.
Saturday’s events begin with an interview with Carl and Teresa Wilkens at 9:30 a.m. at the Howard Performing Arts Center, followed by Wilkens’ keynote address at 11. Saturday afternoon’s activities include breakout sessions at 3 and 4 p.m. on topics ranging from “Violence Against Women: End It Now!” led by Heather-Dawn Small to “The Causes of Ethnic Conflict & The Role of the Church,” with Leonard Gashugi to “Personal Ethics: Our Responsibility,” led by Ann Gibson. The summit closes with a concert in the Seminary Chapel and a closing message from Carl Wilkens at 5:30 p.m.

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