On April 17 at 7 p.m., Rusesabagina, best known as the real-life hero portrayed in the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” will be speaking in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center Theater.
Prior to Rusesabagina’s speaking engagement, CSCC will also be screening “Hotel Rwanda” at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The movie will be shown in the George R. Johnson Cultural Heritage Center Theater.
Ten years ago, as the country of Rwanda descended into madness, one man made a promise to protect the family he loved — and ended up finding the courage to save more than 1,200 people.
Over the course of 100 days, almost 1 million people were killed in Rwanda. “Hotel Rwanda,” nominated for three Academy Awards, tells the inspiring story of real-life hero Rusesabagina — portrayed in the film by Don Cheadle — a hotel manager in Rwanda who used his courage to shelter over a thousand refugees from certain death.
His story fast becoming a part of history, Rusesabagina has traveled the world with his message of hope, peace, and “never again.”
He has founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation which provides support, care, and assistance to children orphaned by, and women abused during, the genocide in Rwanda.
Lauded by many, he is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award, and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.
Rusesabagina, whose journey from hotel manager to humanitarian has been life-changing has said, “I’ve become a humanitarian, and I never thought I would become one. And, as a humanitarian, I wanted to take this message on a wider scale, to raise awareness of what happened in my country so that the international community can help others who suffer now.”
Tracey Wright, CSCC director of special programs and community relations, said, “Paul Rusesabagina’s courage and commitment to working across cultural lines even when faced with the possibility of death is uplifting. His message is one that will encourage and challenge us all.
“It is a tremendous gift to our community to have him present at Cleveland State Community College as a part of the Multicultural Week activities.”
A reception in Ruseseabagina’s honor will be held immediately following the speaking engagement.
The CSCC Bookstore will have copies of Rusesabagina’s autobiography, “An Ordinary Man” available for people to purchase, and Rusesabagina will be doing a book signing at that time.
Starbucks will be serving free coffee at the reception as a part of the company’s community service campaign.
Admission is free and is open to the community.
CSCC will also be hosting the fifth annual Multicultural Fair on April 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the courtyard outside the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.
The fair is designed to celebrate different cultures living in Bradley County.
Admission to the Multicultural Fair is also free.