Paul Rusesabagina, the humanitarian upon whom the film Hotel Rwanda
is based, will deliver the keynote speech for DreamWeek's January 10 opening breakfast.
DreamWeek, now in its eighth year, is an umbrella for dozens of San Antonio events commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of inclusion and community.
During the Rwandan genocide, Rusesabagina protected 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees from the Interahamwe militia as the manager of the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali. All of those refugees escaped unscathed. His efforts were immortalized in the critically acclaimed 2004 film Hotel Rwanda.
Rusesabagina has also been recognized with awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Even so, there's been controversy
over Rusesabagina's perceived conduct
during the genocide, and he's feuded publicly with current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, whom he's accused
of human rights violations. Rusesabagina, who's consistently spoken in favor of democracy and the free press, has denounced claims made against him as part of an extended smear campaign by Kagame.
At the breakfast, Rusesabagina will be joined onstage by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla and DreamWeek Founder Shokare Nakpodia.
DreamWeek 2020 will run January 10-26, with a calendar
featuring more than 200 events, including its annual award luncheon at the Spire at St. Paul's Square on January 17 and the DreamVoice Mayor's Ball on January 25.
$65-$1,000, 7:30-9 a.m. Friday, January 10, Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe, 210 W. Market St., (210) 444-2315, dreamweek.org.
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