Professor Antonella Regueiro recently worked alongside Aegis Trust, a genocide prevention organization in Rwanda, to form new partnerships for the Social Impact Lab’s Ambassador Corps.
Regueiro’s interest in genocide began as she completed her undergraduate program. At the time, she discovered the Darfur genocide, an event that would lead her to completely veer her life toward conflict and analysis and genocide.
“I could not understand how in the same world where I was safely and comfortably pursuing my education, there was also such evil and suffering,” said Regueiro.
At first, genocide had simply been an interest for her. As Regueiro dove deeper into her studies, though, it became evident that she had found her calling. She described her journey as a lifelong quest to understand why society allows atrocities to occur.
In 2017, the opportunity to travel to a country that is known for one of the world’s most gruesome genocides, Rwanda, crossed her path. She attended a meeting conducted by Jerry Hildebrand, director of social impact at Lynn, and learned of the Ambassador Corps.
Once in Rwanda, she worked alongside her main contact, Aegis Trust, an organization that has been working to prevent genocide for the last two decades. Regueiro also served with other companies that work to uplift the country, forming many new partnerships for Lynn along the way.
“Last year, our two students [who went] to Rwanda actually interned with one of the organizations I brought into our roster – the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center,” said Regueiro.
Regueiro’s experience in Rwanda was deeply personal. In college, the genocide in Rwanda was one of the case studies she wrote about in her dissertation. Due to her familiarity with the history of the country, she felt it already had a special place in her heart.
During her visit, however, she realized she had not truly immersed herself in the country’s present and future. In order to see the advances Rwanda has made since the past horrific events, she had to visit the country to view the progress being made first-hand.
“The Ambassador Corps experience allowed me to see a side of Rwanda we barely get to hear about – the side that encompasses a country that has done the best it could to move on from its trauma,” said Regueiro. “It is a country filled with a young and thriving population willing to put in the work to get their country to soar.”
Now back in the U.S., Regueiro misses Rwanda daily, hoping to someday return to the land she studied for so long. In the meantime, she hopes to continue the relationships she has built in Africa for the rest of her life.