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U.S. Institute of Peace grant will fund international forgiveness workshop, lecture at IUPUI

The director of international partnerships at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will use a $2,000 grant from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative of the United States Institute of Peace to explore a novel approach to achieving peace and reconciliation on the global stage.

Ian McIntosh said a daylong workshop on “forgiveness in international perspective” will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, 1100 W. 42nd St. in Indianapolis. Two survivors of mass genocide who are also advocates of “unilateral forgiveness” will lead sessions about this approach.

The advocates are Kizito Kalima, a Rwandan genocide survivor, and Eva Kor, a Holocaust survivor best known for her documentary film, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele.” Both live in Indiana and participated in a 2011 event supported by the Office of International Affairs in Indianapolis commemorating the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda.

A public lecture also will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 5. at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Kalima and McIntosh, who is also an adjunct professor of anthropology and associate director of the Confucius Institute, will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using unilateral forgiveness to achieve long-term peace in a case study from Rwanda.

“The workshop and lecture will be inspirational for our campus and community, especially for international students and the African Diaspora,” McIntosh said. The IUPUI African Student Association will co-sponsor the event.

“USIP is pleased to support organizations like IUPUI and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict — and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently,” said Jim Marshall, president of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The U. S. Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. The institute works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs and enhance national security. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul, Afghanistan.

As part of its congressional mandate, the U.S. Institute of Peace devotes a portion of its budget to support organizations that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices and professionalizing the field through education and training. The Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a program of the U.S. Institute of Peace administered by the Institute of International Education.

For more information on the workshop and lecture, contact McIntosh at or 317 274-3776.