This fall, Bender Library is presenting a new exhibit on social justice. "Images of Forgiveness" is a thought-provoking collection of arresting pictures and personal narratives exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity.
"Images of Forgiveness" will examine forgiveness as a healing process, a transition out of victimhood and, ultimately, a journey of hope by drawing together voices from South Africa, America, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, and England. First launched in London in 2004, this exhibit has since been displayed in over 300 venues worldwide.
The six-foot tall banners feature powerful, affecting stories from around the globe. Learn about the power of forgiveness through the experience of Katy Hutchison. Katy was able to overcome her anger and grief in order to forgive her husband's killer, Ryan Aldridge. The relationship that has developed between Katy and Ryan through this act of forgiveness illustrates Katy's belief that "Part of being human is rolling up your sleeves and taking an active part in repairing harm."
The theme of love and reconciliation is also made manifest in Robi Damelin's story of finding peace through forgiveness after her son David was shot by a sniper while serving in the Israeli army. Robi now works as an activist with The Parents Circle, an organization that unites bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families. Dani found that "the organization soon became my lifeline. I now spend my time travelling the world, spreading the message of reconciliation, tolerance and peace. The pain of David's death never goes away, but what do you do with this pain? Do you invest it in revenge or do you think creatively?"
The "Images of Forgiveness" exhibit is in partnership with The Forgiveness Project which uses real stories of victims and perpetrators to explore concepts of forgiveness, and to encourage people to consider alternatives to resentment, retaliation, and revenge.
This free exhibit is open to the entire community and will be on display from Monday, September 15 to Friday, September 26 on the First Floor of Bender Library.
It will be the first part of the Exploring Social Justice Series the Library will host this academic year. The Exploring Social Justice Series, a new program co-sponsored by the American University Library and the Kay Spiritual Life Center, brings in exemplary leaders from diverse backgrounds who will share their stories of love and forgiveness in action around the world. The speakers have had personal and profound experiences with injustice and have demonstrated the capacity to forgive and to live the rest of their lives committed to witness and advocate within their spheres of influence.
All events are free and open to the public. The series is supported by the Fetzer Institute. Upcoming lectures in this series include Sister Helen Prejean on her life work vigorously opposing state executions and Reed Brody, Counsel and Spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, offering an international perspective on the quest for justice.
For more information on this series, please visit the Exploring Social Justice webpage.