Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

The Ignatian Volunteer Corps of Baltimore invites you to:

Living Gratitude

COMING JUNE 2024! Stay tuned!

RSVP is required.

Donations to IVC Baltimore are appreciated.

 More about Carl Wilkens

For over a decade, Carl Wilkens has been sharing stories around the globe to inspire and equip people to “enter the world of The Other.” He was the only American who chose to stay in Kigali, Rwanda throughout the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers, and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water, and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. Working with Rwandan colleagues, they helped save the lives of hundreds. His harrowing yet hopeful journey weaves together stories of tremendous risk and fierce compassion in the midst of senseless slaughter.
In 2011, Carl completed a book detailing these days titled I’m Not Leaving. A 40-minute documentary by the same title has since been released (SEE BELOW).
Carl’s storytelling does not stop with Rwanda’s tragic history, but moves forward to the powerful and inspiring recovery process. Among the many lessons that Carl shares from his experience is the transformative belief that we don’t have to be defined by what we lost or our worst choices. We can be defined by what we do with what remains – what we do next after terrible choices. Each year he returns to Rwanda with students and educators to see for themselves how people are working together to rebuild their country and rebuild trust. Rwanda’s story is a powerful platform to launch meaningful conversations under the broad umbrella of learning to live together. Carl explores stories of the genocide— and how respect leads to empathy, resulting in inclusion (REI). Carl invites people of all ages to build trusting relationships through restorative thinking and practices. 
For more about Carl and his work (including reading, podcast, and video recommendations) visit:
One Family’s decision against genocide – 40 minute documentary on the Rwandan Genocide through the eyes of the Wilkens family. Carl Wilkens was the only American to remain in Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Along with his Rwandan colleagues they were able to help save the lives of hundreds trapped in orphanages around the city.
Carl draws insights from Rwanda’s restorative decisions following the genocide, to launch conversations that invite us to move toward connecting through curiosity and exploring the World Outside My Shoes in new ways. Carl uses the transformative process of storytelling and restorative practices to engage participants on questions of polarization, harmful conflict, and belonging. Our individual roles in building human connection is a recurring theme.


American Public Media, American RadioWorks
“A Few Who Stayed, Defying Genocide in Rwanda” (here)
PBS Frontline
“Ghosts of Rwanda” Interview with Carl Wilkens (here)