Launching the Aegis Trust Peace Institute: Establishing a Community and Platform to Scale Lessons on Forgiveness from Rwanda to the World
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Project Duration
August 1 / 2023
- January 31 / 2025
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Freddy Mutanguha
Institution Aegis Trust

Jonathan Tirrell
Institution Tufts University

Over one million people were killed  in 100 days in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The people of Rwanda have worked to rebuild their families, communities, and nation by embracing what might seem to be impossible following such atrocity—forgiveness. There are timely and important lessons to be learned from the people of Rwanda and the peace-building efforts that have been successful in navigating and promoting forgiveness as a pathway to peace.

Aegis Trust, a non-governmental organization that campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide, curates the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda where it delivers peace education programs that support tens of thousands of people in Rwanda. Youth programs as well as teacher and parent trainings seek to provide knowledge and skills for conflict resolution and peace-building, to overcome the legacy of genocide. With this project, Aegis intends to scale the work and success of its programs by establishing a global Peace Institute. The project is led by Freddy Mutanguha, CEO of Aegis Trust, and co-directed by Jonathan Tirrell at Tufts. The convening and the launching of the Aegis Peace Institute will serve to build a network, to disseminate knowledge and resources about the Aegis peace-building work and other scientists and tool developers work in this field, and to deepen understanding globally of forgiveness as a pathway to peace and justice.

The event to launch the Institute will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the genocide, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The launch will bring together scholars, practitioners, educators, policymakers, and peace and reconciliation advocates. Potential donors, funders, celebrities, and high-profile individuals interested in raising awareness, support, and resources for promoting peace and forgiveness science and tools globally will also be included.

The convening will feature arts performances through a partnership with the Ubumuntu Arts Festival. It will also include presentations on research and practice related to forgiveness, reconciliation and peace, as well as training in peace-and-reconciliation programs. Roundtable discussions and focus groups, as well as community building activities are planned.

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