UM School of Law’s Student Organization for Human Rights to host panel discussion – CORAL GABLES, FL (January 11, 2010) The University of Miami School of Law’s Student Organization for Human Rights will be hosting a panel discussion featuring Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation), defense lawyer Kathleen Kirwin, University of Michigan Professor Allan Stam, and Loyola University Professor Brian Endless on January 22, 2010 at Gusman Hall (1314 Miller Drive) on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus. The meeting aims to raise awareness of the issues in the African Great Lakes by actively engaging the audience in the discussion. The Student Organization for Human Rights will connect with groups on the main campus and will host showings of the movie The Hotel Rwanda January 15, 2010 from 6:30-9:30 pm in room 209 of the Law School (1311 Miller Drive).

The schedule of events also includes an in-house training for the Miami Asylum Office regarding the country conditions in the region. This is an important opportunity to influence federal asylum and immigration policy at the local level. The week will culminate with a fund-raising gala on Saturday, January 23rd from 6 – 8 pm at Gaetano’s Ristorante in the Hotel St. Michel (162 Alcazar Avenue) in Coral Gables.

For more information on this event or the organization(s), call Tom Oglesby at 305-495-1571.

MEDIA NOTE: For an interview with Mr. Rusesabagina contact Kitty Kurth at 312-617-7288 or email [email protected] .


Speaker Profiles:

Paul Rusesabagina of the Hotel Rwanda Foundation (bio below).

Kathleen Kirwin is a Criminal and Death Penalty defense lawyer in Sarasota, Florida. She has been a member of the War Crimes Documentation Project in Kosovo through the American Bar Association and was a member of the research team writing amicus briefs for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Professor Alan Stam is a professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan specializing in conflict resolution. He was one of the leaders of a team that conducted detailed field research on the Rwandan Genocide with the National University of Rwanda in Butare through the U.S. Agency for International Development. The team also conducted investigations for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and has recently published a paper on their findings.

Brian Endless is a professor of Political Science at Loyola University. Professor Endless teaches classes on International Law, International Organizations, and International Political Economy, among others. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of American Model United Nations International based in Chicago.

About the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation:

Paul Rusesabagina is the real life hero of the acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda and the President and Founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation. As portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in the film, Rusesabagina saved the lives of more than 1,200 people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Rusesabagina served as manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali and bravely risked his life to shelter Hutus and Tutsis who were seeking refuge from the genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.

Rusesabagina served as special consultant to United Artists and Lion’s Gate Films’ production of Hotel Rwanda. His popular autobiography, An Ordinary Man, was published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. in April 2006.

To further the mission of his foundation, Rusesabagina now tours the world speaking about social justice, human rights activism and the lessons learned from the Rwandan genocide, one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century. He has spoken to large organizations of journalists, educators, students, policymakers, business leaders, and human rights advocates throughout Europe and the United States. Rusesabagina describes his experiences during the horrific genocide, the terror, and the helplessness of the people he sheltered. He also proposes ways in which governments, non-governmental organizations, and ordinary people can work together to prevent genocide throughout the world.

In 2000 Paul Rusesabagina received the Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity. In 2005 he received the highest civilian award in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President George W. Bush. That same year, Rusesabagina was also honored with the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award and the Humanitarian Award from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Rusesabagina formed the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation to help provide a voice to victims of genocide and support peace efforts in Rwanda and throughout the world. What started as a personal mission to teach the lessons of Rwanda has become an international movement to fight genocide throughout the world.

The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation raises public awareness about the need for an internationally administered Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The Foundation also works on issues related to the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 5 million have died. The Foundation is campaigning for an end to Rwandan military intervention in the Congo and against the deadly exploitation of conflict minerals in the region.

Paul Rusesabagina continues to be the President of the foundation, a 501(c3) public not for profit charity, based in Chicago, Illinois.

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