“Transcending Suffering Through Radical Joy”: A Talk and Book Reading with Clemantine Wamariya

“Transcending Suffering Through Radical Joy”: A Talk and Book Reading with Clemantine Wamariya


Saturday, March 9, 2019, 12pm—2pm


Join us for a Portal connection to Kigali with best-selling Rwandese author Clemantine Wamariya.

Wamariya will be using The Africa Center Portal to simultaneously engage a Rwandese and American audience—two countries which frame her autobiographical New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Smiled Beads—for a book reading and talk moderated by Portal Curator, Neema Githere. This talk will be a unique opportunity to learn from and share in Wamariya’s illuminating pedagogy of Radical Joy.

“Sharp, moving… Wamariya and her co-author, Elizabeth Weil… describe Wamariya’s idyllic early childhood in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and the madness that followed with an analytic eye and, at times, a lyrical honesty…. Wamariya is piercing about her alienation in America and her effort to combat the perception that she is an exotic figure, to be pitied or dismissed…. Wamariya tells her own story with feeling, in vivid prose. She has remade herself, as she explains was necessary to do, on her own terms.”

Alexis Okeowo, New York Times Book Review


Clemantine Wamariya is an internationally renowned speaker, a New York Times bestselling author, and an accomplished human rights advocate. Her memoir The Girl Who Smiled Beads debuted with Crown Publishing in April 2018 and is published in 6 languages and dozens of countries. Clemantine received her BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2014 and built her career as “a compelling storyteller and fierce advocate” (Amy Poehler). Clemantine has appeared four times as a guest on The Oprah Show and was appointed by President Obama in 2016 to serve on the board of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. She brings her powerful perspective to various organizations, from her 2018 TED Talk to the boards of  Women for Women International and Refugee Transitions.

Photo by Julia Zave



Connection from 12pm until 2pm


RSVP to by March 8.

Seating on a first come, first served basis



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