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Idaho State University debate to host Rwandan debate team for two-day event

October 13, 2016

POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s debate team will host the iDebate Rwanda debate team for three events on Oct. 24 and 25.

These events include a debate in conjunction with ISU’s debate team, a documentary followed by a question and answer session and a photo exhibit. All events are free and open to the public. 

In 1994, more than one million Rwandans were killed in a conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, leaving behind young people that now make up the majority of the population in the country. In 2003, more than 80 percent of the killers were released back into the communities they once sought to destroy. The iDebate team from Rwanda will share their own stories and experiences of what its like to live in a post-genocide generation, and how they strive to live inspiring and impactful lives.

The first event will feature the ISU debate team and Rwandans debating in conjunction on the topic, “This house believes that in the aftermath of genocide, forgiveness is more important than justice.” The debate will take place on Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Rendezvous Complex Suites ABC.

“I think this event will be the first spark for people to start working together,” said ISU debater Cora Bidete. “It will allow us to see that there are cultural differences between us but regardless of that, there is a need for us to interact in a way that is positive and doesn’t incite an ‘us versus them’ mentality.”

The next event titled, “Stories From a Post-Genocidal Generation,” will take place on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Business Administration Building room 104. Raphael Njoku, chair and professor in the Department of Global Studies and Languages, will introduce the topic and give a brief presentation, followed by a documentary about the Rwandan students’ lives and a question and answer session.

“This will be such a humbling experience to debate with these students,” said ISU debater Cameo Curnutt. “The more that we immerse ourselves in these different cultures the more that we can get rid of the ignorance and intolerance that we have seen here.”

The photo exhibit, that may contact graphic images, will portray the genocide of 1994 and will be on display on the second floor of Frazier Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Oct. 24 and 25.

For more information contact Sarah Parlow-Lefevre at partsara@isu.edu or 282-5962.