A valley resident who was named United Nations Humanitarian of the Year in 2009 will appear at "Community Cinema" Thursday, March 31, at Mesa Arts Center's Dobson Lecture Hall. Rose Mapendo is the subject of the movie "Pushing the Elephant" and will present a lecture after a free screening of the film.
Rose, a Tutsi Congolese born in a remote village of East Congo, and her husband were imprisoned and tortured after the Rwandan army invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998. Soldiers separated Rose from her husband, who was executed as she sat helplessly in a jail cell. A few months after her imprisonment, she realized she was pregnant and delivered premature twin boys on her concrete prison floor with no medical assistance. After being imprisoned for 16 months, Rose and her nine children were flown to a refugee camp in northern Cameroon.
Rose and her family eventually resettled in the United States, where she has become a global activist for peace and reconciliation. Her work has been honored by the White House.
The City of Mesa Office of Diversity, City of Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board, Mesa Arts Center, ITVS Community Cinema and Eight Arizona PBS are presenting "Community Cinema," a monthly series of free movies throughout the year, along with post-show discussions. The doors open at 6 p.m., the movie begins at 6:30 p.m. and the lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.
If you plan to attend the free event, reservations are required. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 29, to Mesa Neighborhood Outreach Volunteer Coordinator Katie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 644-3705. For a list of upcoming Community Cinema events through June and other information, visit mesaaz.gov/diversity.