Dissertation Title:

Message in the Bones: Survivor Leaders of Genocide Against the Tutsi, 1994


Lorraine Warren

Date, Time & Place:

March 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road Campus


This research presents an intimate exploration of the stories of survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. A phenomenological approach was used in the research, employing the lens of depth psychology emphasizing community psychology, liberation psychology, and ecopsychology. Through organic inquiry, a semi-structured interview process was engaged in which survivors recalled their experiences before, during, and after the genocide. This revealed the profound ways in which survivors were impacted by their experience of genocide and how they were led to their calling or work. The following questions were engaged: (a) What was your experience of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi?; (b) What led you to your work?; (c) What did you learn from your experience?; and (d) Having experienced genocide, what is your message to the world? Survivors shared their journeys and how healing can be facilitated through talking about experiences, service, forgiveness, and education about genocide. The researchers’ personal stories, the voice of nature via poetry, and responses to the study by three early readers of the research were also incorporated into the study results. Survivor leaders in Rwanda are empowering, transforming, and healing their families, communities, and nation. Lessons from survivor leaders of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda can assist nations worldwide facing similar atrocities by restoring the bodies, minds, and spirits of citizens and possibly preventing future genocides.


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Thank you for your kind consideration.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology, Track P, 2010
  • Chair: Dr. Aaron Kipnis
  • Reader: Dr. Lisa Sloan
  • External Reader: Dr. Gail Lash
  • Keywords: Rwanda, Genocide, Survivors, Trauma, Leadership, Organic Inquiry