For three weeks in July, Seong Kyul Park ’12—along with 20 other American and Rwandese participants—studied genocide and reconstruction in Kigali, Rwanda, through a summer program offered by the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (IGSC).
The center is directed by Jean-Pierre Karegeye, an assistant professor of French and Francophone studies at Macalester.
The IGSC program, which consisted of cultural excursions, site visits, and classroom sessions, helped participants understand how mass violence comes about and how it can be prevented in the future. Visits to memorial and genocide sites, Q&A sessions with genocide survivors and perpetrators, as well as seminars with Rwandan national prosecutors, aid workers, activists, artists, journalists, and more provided a comprehensive overview of Rwanda’s continuing transformation from its tumultuous past.
After the month-long IGSC program ended, Park stayed in Rwanda for one more month as part of the Global Youth Connect program. The program included human rights workshops, and participants partnered with local human rights and development non-government organizations (NGOs). Park partnered with the Association de la Jeunesse pour la Promotion des Droits de l’Homme et le Développement (AJPRODHO), an NGO that works on the issue of gender-based violence through education, theater, and advocacy.