Commemorating the genocide in Rwanda

Commemorating the genocide in Rwanda

Commemorating the 19th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide with a tribute to a young victim of the slaughter. Coexist is a documentary and educational outreach project in use by more than 3,000 schools and community organizations in 50 states and more than a dozen countries.

A day for reflection and...

Coexist is a documentary and educational outreach project in use by more than 3,000 schools and community organizations in 50 states and more than a dozen countries. Our project includes a 40-minute film and a four-lesson Teacher's Guide, which can be used in the classroom and in support of positive school climate campaigns.

We invite you to join our community on facebook.

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Devastating news about massacres, rape, and forced conscription is not making headlines today. But it is happening right now in East Africa.

Today we learn from a new report that dozens of civilians have been murdered, women and girls as young as 8-years-old raped, and boys are being forced to fight or die. The army on this campaign of atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo is M23, one that Human Rights Watch reports is supported by Rwanda and its ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). In Coexist Dr. Tim Longman says “The RPF carried out war crimes and human rights abuses and they've had no accountability for that whatsoever.” The stories continues.

This news is disturbing any day of the year, as it is on this September 11th when we reflect on these wrongdoings as well the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the deaths of thousands of people. The Coexist team also remembers the lesser known coup d'etat on this same date in 1973, when the U.S. helped overthrow the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende. Tyranny reigned for 17 years, people disappeared, families we're destroyed. The wounds remain today.

May this day of reflection be an opportunity to discuss the roles of individuals and governments in accounting for wrongdoing, and for all of humanity to explore avenues for healing and reconciliation and justice.


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View Coexist in Schools around the world in a full screen map

How Coexist is working in Schools

Here's a link to one example of what happens in classrooms where we teach Coexist. That school now plans to broaden and deepen the conversation about violence prevention.

Read what people are saying about Coexist here.

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New Video: Coexist in the Classroom

We've often been asked how our documentary film, Coexist, can be used in the classroom. Since we are documentarians we thought it would be best to show you! Check out our new video, and if you like it, please share it with friends:

What are viewers saying about Coexist?

Audience members yearn for more time to unpack the many messages of Coexist. Here are recent comments about both the film and the debriefing discussions facilitated by members of the Coexist team:

. . . "Coexist was carefully and sensitively made, drawing in a variety of narratives, beliefs, and perceptions that underscore the complexity of mass violence. The video and educational programs serve as beneficial learning tools for American adults and young people who may not know much about Rwanda and have not been faced with the need for social healing and reconciliation after genocide. I especially appreciate the film for not offering simplistic remedies to the profound questions of how people live together, and live with themselves, after such atrocity. The film reminds us that we each face ourselves and manage our recovery differently, and that human beings have an astounding resilience." - Dr. Paula Green, founder, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, and CONTACT Program, SIT (School for International Training Graduate Institute)

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"The power of the film and Mishy's way of inviting us to experience it deeply has Saturday evening still reverberating in me.  So many levels of engagement arose as the evening progressed, with Mishy setting the context, with the brief history presented, with Mishy’s inviting and facilitating comments from the audience." - Sarah Conn, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder, Earth Circles

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"Coexist is outstanding, in part because it brings up for viewers so many profound thoughts and feelings. The film underscores our capacity as humans for evil and betrayal and injustice.  And Mishy's welcoming, context-setting, and facilitation of the debriefing were terrific." - Robert Ryan, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Consultant/Coach

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"Coexist is so evocative; it crushes the heart because it is so real and tells the truth about what did happen and what could happen.  I feel edified by having seen it."  - Brett Litz, Ph.D., VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University

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Would you like to organize a screening? Contact us to make it happen!


MARCH 30th, 2011, 2 p.m. The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ (Free event)

With Director Adam Mazo. Full details to come.

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MARCH 23rd, 2011, 5 p.m. Bentley University, Waltham, MA (Free event)

With Director Adam Mazo. Full details to come.

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Coexisting in School

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Check out the latest news on Coexist, featured in the Lowell Sun.

Coexist has just been awarded an Honorable Mention in the documentary category at the Metropolitan Film Festival of New York!

Through Coexist we want audiences to become activists in their communities. We hope Coexist inspires dialogue with friends, family, and most importantly strangers and the "other". We encourage you to explore our site to learn more about our educational mission that we are working to achieve. Below check out pictures from our World Premiere on November 6th in Boston.

Why Coexist?

When hate persists, how will you coexist? It's a question each of us face in our lives whether dealing with name calling and bullying, teasing and harassment, hate crimes, or even genocide. In the documentary film, Coexist we aim to stimulate discussion among people everywhere about the need to coexist. Coexist, is the evolution of several years of exploration, research, and discussion about reconciliation, coexistence, and peace-building. In our film you will see how genocide survivors struggle to coexist with killers in Rwanda, as targeted killing continues regularly throughout the country.

Survivors & Killers Living Side by Side

Because there are killers and survivors in every village in Rwanda, they must live side by side. This has prompted the government to heavily promote reconciliation programs. We found few people even in the most remote villages who have not heard the government's message of reconciliation. But, as you might imagine, reconciling with a killer who murdered your family is impossible for some people.

The Complexity of Coexistence

We set out to explore the extent of reconciliation in Rwanda. We had seen and heard numerous examples of seemingly stunning success. What we found in our investigation in Rwanda is that many people have been able to rehumanize their former enemies. But healing after such extreme trauma can be a life long effort. Many people simply cannot reconcile. For everyone in Rwanda the ability to simply coexist is imperative. As the country's top official at the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Fatuma Ndangiza told us, "Reconciliation is at different levels, some will reconcile others will coexist, and I think as long as it contributes to peace its all welcome."

A Feeling of Peace, as Killings Continue

The country is largely peaceful today. There is little danger for those willing to go about their business and keep quiet. But, some say peace is impossible. Because despite the relative peace murderers continue to kill genocide survivors today. The victims' families told us that survivors are being killed for testifying or preparing to testify against genocide offenders. Sometimes the murderers are related to the genocide offenders, and others are the genocide offenders themselves trying to protect other family members from going to prison.

What's Next?

Follow our progress here and share this story with your family, friends and colleagues. If you've visited our site before you'll find there are many new stories to read, pictures to view, information to check out and opportunities to interact. There are numerous ways to do that which we've outlined across our site. Become a fan on facebook, join our cause, send a link to our video on this page:, make a donation, tell teachers, professors, and administrators about Coexist.

In the coming months as we work to complete our film we will explore coexistence asking you:

"When hate persists, how will you you coexist?"

--Adam Mazo Director, Coexist