Carl Wilkens, Humanitarian and Author of “I’m Not Leaving” to Share First Hand Experiences of the Rwandan Genocide

Release Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Author and humanitarian Carl Wilkens will speak at Chestnut Hill College on Tuesday, October 16, at 4 p.m. in the East Parlor, St. Joseph Hall. 


Carl Wilkens, author of the memoir “I’m Not Leaving: Rwanda Through the Eyes of the Only American to Stay in Kigali During the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi” will speak about his experiences and personal first-hand accounts of life for the people of Rwanda as their country collapsed as well as stories of those who stood up against the killers. While sharing experiences of what day-to-day life in Rwanda was like during the genocide, Wilkens focuses on the courage and resilience he witnessed with people facing horrendous choices in the middle of the unimaginable slaughter. His presentation will highlight what we as global citizens have in common, how our commonalities are so much greater than our differences and what that means for our response to violence – from bullying to genocide.


Wilkens is the former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) in Rwanda. In 1994, he was the only American who chose to remain in the country after the genocide began. His choice to stay and try to help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide.


After returning to the United States in the late 1990s, Carl and his wife Teresa created the foundation, World Outside My Shoes ( to teach about the genocide, and to use education to help the world avoid such tragedies in the future.


Wilkens’ humanitarian work has been recognized with several awards including the Dignitas Humana Award from Saint John’s School of Theology Seminary and a 2005 Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Copies of Wilken’s book will be available for purchase at the event, and donations can be made to the World Outside My Shoes Foundation. For more information, please contact Marie Conn, Ph.D., chair of the department of religious studies, philosophy, and the graduate program in holistic spirituality at 215.248.7044.or email