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Community Conversations
With Alex & Dydine

Episode 17

“The knowledge that I have gained that is so crucial to understand is that our mental health is as important as our physical well-being.”

Special guest Yvonne Umugwaneza

This Conversation took place on Instagram live
May, 2023

Yvonne’s Biography

Yvonne Umugwaneza is a survivor of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. She was injured by a bomb blast, and more than a dozen of her relatives were murdered. She has worked extensively in the field of genocide awareness, commemoration, and supporting genocide survivors. From 2008 to 2014, she was the Communication Officer at Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. In this role, she oversaw all aspects of the media, general library, and genocide archive.

She has a B.A. in Communication Studies and Journalism and a Master’s in Social Work from Texas Christian University (TCU). After attending the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsis in Washington, D.C., she started speaking about her experience during the TCU commemoration on campus.

Skilled in Translation, she translated the Uncondemned film documentary's key witnesses’ interviews. The film recounts the 1997 trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu for his alleged knowledge of the rapes and other war crimes during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It features three women victims of rape who testified in the trial. She features in The 600 Soldiers’ story documentary recounting her experience witnessing the genocide against the Tutsi.

Currently, Yvonne Umugwaneza is focused on becoming a licensed clinical social worker and help those who struggle with mental health problems.