9/11 FAMILY GROUP CELEBRATES DEMOCRACY IN SOUTH AFRICA
Joins in journey toward forgiveness, healing and wholeness
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–A group representing September 11th victims will mark the 10th anniversary of the successful struggle to bring democracy to South Africa at the “Journey Towards Healing and Wholeness Conference,” held on Robben Island from April 14 -18, 2004. The island was the site of Nelson Mandela’s 25-year imprisonment before his release and election to the post of African National Congress President.
Andrew Rice will represent September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows at the conference, which is being held by the Institute for Healing of Memories, in partnership with the Desmond Tutu Leadership Academy.
Among the workshop’s goals are an exploration of “anger, hatred, shame and guilt, and the journeys toward forgiveness, healing and wholeness”– topics which resonate with Peaceful Tomorrows’ mission to seek effective, nonviolent solutions to terrorism, while acknowledging a common experience with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world.
“I’m honored to be able to represent Peaceful Tomorrows at this momentous conference, and learn from those who have gone before us in their efforts to reconcile with the perpetrators of violence and injustice,” said Rice, who lives in Oklahoma City, OK. “The work of Father Michael Lapsley, director of the Institute of Healing of Memories, is an inspiring example to Americans as we wrestle with our grief and work toward a day where the cycle of violence of terrorism and war will be broken.”
Father Lapsley’s struggle against apartheid cost him his hands and an eye as the result of a letter bomb in 1990. As director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories, he has held workshops throughout South Africa to provide opportunities for individuals and communities to deal with the burdens of trauma and past guilt. The Institute is a trust which seeks to contribute to the healing journey of individuals, communities and nations.
The South Africa visit has particular significance for Rice, who lost his brother David at the World Trade Center, where he worked for the investment firm Sandler O’Neill. David Rice studied as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa in 1996.
Nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is an advocacy group representing more than 120 family members of September 11th victims, and thousands of supporters. Its website is www.peacefultomorrows.org.
For more on the Institute and the conference, visit: