Frost Foundation Lectureship highlights the fight for justice in Rwanda

In 1994, unimaginable violence overtook the country of Rwanda and for 100 days, crimes against humanity and war crimes were committed on a horrific scale to an estimated 800,000 Tutsis.

Join the Center for International Studies Jan. 21 at this year’s Frost Foundation Lectureship and hear first-hand from the attorneys who sought justice following the genocide as they discuss their global fight against the people responsible.

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(L-R) Lisa Pruitt, Sara Darehshori and Pierre Prosper

The lecture titled Rwanda: Four Women Who Stood Up for Justice and the Attorneys Who Won Their Case examines the first case of rape as a punishable war crime before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Panelists include Lisa Pruitt, professor of law at UC-Davis, Sara Darehshori, senior counsel for Human Rights Watch, and Ambassador Pierre Prosper, partner for Arent Fox. Moderated by June Noronha of the Bush Foundation, the panel discussion will explore the meaning of global citizenship, risk-taking, leadership and what drove them to take on this case.

Pruitt, a widely recognized expert on rural poverty and women in the developing world, lived and worked in Europe and Africa for nearly a decade. In addition to her consultancy at the ICTR, she worked as a legal assistant to Judge George Aldrich of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands and an international law firm.

Darehshori researches and advocates on issues relating to the handling of sexual assault cases in the United States. Her work in Washington helped lead to the Sexual Assault Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2014, landmark legislation improving police response to sexual assault in the District of Columbia.

Prosper coordinated U.S. policy responses to attacks against civilians throughout the world. He has played a pivotal role in the war on terror and served as the lead trial attorney in genocide cases.

The free lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom and features complimentary copies (while supply lasts) of the book I’m Not Leaving by Carl Wilkens, a look at Rwanda through the eyes of the only American to remain in the country through the 1994 genocide. The Uncondemned, an internationally acclaimed film that introduces the four women who testified at the ICTR trial, will be shown to faculty and students on a first-come first-served basis at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in Room 141 of the J.M. Moudy Visual Arts and Communication Building.

The Frost Foundation Lectureship series began in the mid-1990s and is made possible by a gift from the Frost Foundation. The Foundation, named in honor of Edwin Ambrose Frost and Virginia Chapelle Frost, is dedicated to broadening international understanding by showcasing diverse cultural points of view. The Center was named the 2015 Heiskell Award Winner for providing international and comparative experiences for students, such as the international commemoration of the Rwandan genocide.