Rwandan genocide survivor and author Immaculee Ilibagiza to speak at ISU Nov. 4

AMES, Iowa -- During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Immaculee Ilibagiza and seven other women spent 91 days huddled together silently in the bathroom of a local pastor's house. She emerged from the trauma half starved, only to find her entire family had been brutally murdered. They were among the 800,000 people killed in 100 days.

Ilibagiza, who has been featured on "60 Minutes," will speak at Iowa State University on Wednesday, Nov. 4. "Surviving the Rwandan Genocide: Immaculee's Story of Faith, Hope and Forgiveness," will be at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the university's World Affairs Series, "Can We Save the World?" and also is the Msgr. James A. Supple Lecture.

During her time in hiding, Ilibagiza taught herself English with only the Bible and a dictionary. When freed, she was able to secure a job with the United Nations. In 1998, she immigrated to the United States, where she continued her work with the U.N.

She is the author of two books, "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust," and "Led By Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide." Ilibagiza's story also is the subject of a documentary, "The Diary of Immaculee." She recently hosted a documentary, "Ready to Forgive, An African Story of Grace," which was broadcast on NBC and the Hallmark Channel.

Ilibagiza's talk is cosponsored by the Catholic Student Community, St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center, World Affairs Series and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

The "60 Minutes" program featuring Ilibagiza is online at