Feb. 8, 2008
Dr. Rangira Béa Gallimore, an academic and activist who lost many of her family members during the mid-1990s genocide in Rwanda, will speak at Morningside College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the UPS Auditorium in Lincoln Center, 3627 Peters Ave.
To prepare for her visit, Morningside College will show “Mother Courage: Thriving Survivors” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the UPS Auditorium. This documentary, created by Léo Kalinda, shares stories of Rwandan women who did survive the horror of genocide.
Gallimore, an associate professor of romance languages and literature at the University of Missouri-Columbia, lost her mother, three brothers and one sister in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where nearly a million people were killed in a little over three months. Since then, she has dedicated herself to speaking out – and helping others speak out – about unspeakable human suffering.
In 2004, Gallimore founded the Step Up! American Association for Rwandan Women. This organization helps women find jobs, food and school supplies; it also works to meet their mental health needs as a result of the genocide. With Dr. Barbara Bauer, a Step Up! psychologist, Gallimore has interviewed many survivors, and she is now analyzing their stories in an upcoming book.
"Dr. Gallimore has collected and studied testimonies of women and children who struggle to recount the horrors of mass killing, rape and neighbor turning against neighbor,” said Dr. Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English at Morningside and coordinator of the Dr. R. Franklin Terry Women’s Studies Lecture and Faculty Development Series. “Her activism inside and outside academia makes her an inspiring role model of ethical leadership."
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the day after Gallimore’s lecture at Morningside College, the public is invited to have an informal conversation with her about her upcoming book. This will take place at noon in the Hickman Dining Room of the Olsen Student Center, 3609 Peters Ave.
Also on Feb. 27, Gallimore will lead a workshop at Morningside College where she will ask participants to think about how they can teach about such challenging topics as rape, incest, genocide and war, making the reality of the horrors vivid but also responding creatively and positively as human beings. Faculty members from Briar Cliff University and Western Iowa Tech Community College, high school teachers and any interested members of the Siouxland community are invited to attend. To register for the free workshop, contact Marcie Ponder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gallimore will be the second speaker at Morningside College as part of the Dr. R. Franklin Terry Women’s Studies Lecture and Faculty Development Series, an effort to bring a renowned women’s studies scholar to campus every semester for three years. The first lecture was given by Dr. Jane Caputi, a women’s studies scholar at Florida Atlantic University who is recognized nationally for her interpretations of popular culture, mythology, gender and violence.
This new women’s studies series is named for Dr. R. Franklin Terry, who joined the Morningside faculty in 1967 and served the college for 25 years. As a professor of religious studies and later as academic dean, Terry championed the liberal arts and social justice. For these qualities and his significant support of feminism on campus and in the community, Morningside honors Terry with this women’s studies series.
Gallimore’s visit is sponsored by the academic affairs office at Morningside College, the former Siouxland Center for Women, the Terry family, a three-campus women’s studies committee and Inquirers Adult Sunday School Class and the Church and Society Mission Group at Grace United Methodist Church.