On April 6, 1994, as Hutu militia took to the streets of Rwanda to systematically slaughter their Tutsi countrymen, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina returned to the Hotel des Mille Collines seeking shelter for his Tutsi wife and their mixed children. Rather than just looking after the safety of his family, however, Rusesabagina used his influence as newly appointed hotel manager to save over 1,200 Rwandans from certain death. Awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, he was played by Don Cheadle in the Academy Award-nominated Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina tells his story in his autobiography, An Ordinary Man (Viking), and is prominently featured in Philip Gourevitch's seminal work on the conflict, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families (Picador). As reflected in his autobiography, he often speaks about the difference that a single, ordinary person can make. With a musical performance by Sounds of Blackness.
Thu., Jan. 15, 7 p.m., 2009