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Survivor of Rwandan Genocide to speak at BHSU

Immaculée Ilibagiza, survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, author of Left to Tell, and recipient of the 2007 Mahatma Gandhi Reconciliation and Peace Award will be speaking at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center on the BHSU campus September 10.
Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, will bring her story of determination and faith to the Black Hills State University campus during a talk Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

Ilibagiza’s talk is sponsored by the BHSU Newman Club and a variety of other organizations throughout the Northern Hills.

Ilibagiza, born in Rwanda in 1972, is a Tutsi, the ethnic minority in her country. She was a student at the University of Rwanda studying electronic and mechanical engineering when her life transformed dramatically in 1994. While home for Easter, Hutus, the Rwandan ethnic majority, sent death squads that began a three-month killing spree of Tutsis across the nation. She, along with seven other women, survived the conflict by huddling silently in a small bathroom of a local pastor’s house for more than 90 days.

Four years after the Rwandan tragedy, Ilibagiza immigrated to the United States and began working for the United Nations in New York City. She has since established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund to help others heal from the long-term effects of genocide and war. She speaks all over the world and is the recipient of the 2007 Mahatma Gandhi Reconciliation and Peace Award.

While she is a Christian, Ilibagiza’s message is explicitly non-sectarian. Her story touches upon the history of that time and advocates tolerance, respect, forgiveness, and hope.

For more information regarding her story, visit

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