Survivor of Rwandan genocide to speak Wednesday


    Students will have the opportunity to hear Yannick Tona, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, speak about his experiences on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.

    The event, “Ripples of Change,” will be a discussion focused on the importance and impact single actions, events and individuals can have on creating change for the better, according to the event’s webpage.

    Tona is currently a student at TCU enrolled in the intensive English program. According to Tona’s webpage, he has worked with several different youth organizations over the past 12 years as an advocate for raising awareness against genocide and discrimination.

    A new student organization called FrogTalks is hosting this event. Amit Lalvani, a sophomore business and accounting double major and the president of FrogTalks, said the organization’s mission is to create a learning environment outside the classroom.

    “FrogTalks will host a few speakers every semester,” Lalvani said. “We hope to host speakers who have had very different experiences than most students so that we can broader a student’s perspective."

    “We chose Yannick as the speaker for FrogTalk’s first event because we wanted to showcase a student who has done something exceptional,” Lalvani said, “ and every time I sit and talk with Yannick I learn something new.”

    Hillary Shepheard, a sophomore strategic communication major and vice-president of marketing and communication for FrogTalks, said this event provides students with a chance to consider the world around them and think about the future.

    “At TCU, we pride ourselves on educating students to be ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community,” Shepheard said. “In order to live up to that, students need exposure to global perspectives.”

    Lalvani said his personal experience with people from different worldviews inspired him to create FrogTalks.

    “I have learned so much from people who think differently than me,” Lalvani said, “and so I wanted to start an organization that focused on the spreading of diverse thoughts.”

    Allanna Wooley, sophomore anthropology and writing double major and vice-president of membership and morale for FrogTalks, said FrogTalks plans to host future events featuring other student or faculty speakers.

    “Through these events we really want to open the discussion among students about real issues,” Wooley said. “We want everyone to understand they each have the ability to bring about positive change.”