Private Independent school from PK through 12th grade.
Author and Humanitarian Aid Worker Carl Wilkens Speaks
Hammond’s Upper School welcomed Carl Wilkens, humanitarian aid worker and author of I’m Not Leaving. In the book, Wilkens chronicles his experience as the only American who stayed in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, even as the American government ordered its citizens home. Wilkens spoke at an assembly, sharing stories of the escalating violence in Rwanda and how his decision to stay positively impacted others. He discussed genocide and what leads a mentality of division to develop and how we as a people can reverse thinking that leads to atrocities such as those that occurred in Rwanda and countless concentration camps under the Nazis. According to Wilkens, “Genocide stems from thinking that says, “My world would be better without you in it!”
One of the most poignant lessons from Wilkens’ experience in Rwanda was embracing the concepts of reconciliation and rebuilding. While he felt he had to remain angry in order to honor the legacy of those killed, he came to the realization that reconciliation was the most effective means for shifting paradigms.