In the July/August 2012 issue of Monitor on Psychology, the work of Dr. Ervin Staub and Dr. Laurie Anne Pearlman utilizing training programs to radio programs to promote peace in Rwanda is discussed.
In April 1994, the Rwandan president was assassinated and the country fell into chaos. Hutus began killing Tutsis. The genocide, which lasted three months, left about 800,000 dead. Laurie Anne Pearlman, PhD, a clinical psychologist and trauma expert in Massachusetts, was moved by newspaper accounts of the genocide, but she didn't know how to help.
Then, in 1997, Pearlman attended a conference on the prevention of genocide organized by her husband, Ervin Staub, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. One of the invitees was a Rwandan official who talked about bloodshed he had witnessed. Pearlman told him how powerful his talk had been and he said, "Laurie, I'm here because we need your help," she remembers.
That was the call to action she needed. Two years later, she and Staub were on their way to Rwanda. Thirteen years later, they're still working there, creating radio programs designed to foster reconciliation and prevent future violence.