Innocent Rugaragu, S-CAR PhD Student
Innocent Rugaragu is a PhD student at S-CAR. He is also an ordained Jesuit Catholic Priest. Originally from Rwanda, Innocent said, “I watched in horror as the genocide was taking place and that was when I decided that I must devote my life to fight for social change, peace, and justice.” Still reeling from the memory of the genocide, he feels that the priesthood provided him with the emotional and spiritual strength to pursue a path that called for “understanding, promoting, respecting human life, human dignity and human values rather than objectifying them.”
Innocent’s journey to the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolutionwas encouraged by the Order of Jesuits, as it formed a significant part of his Jesuit journey. The promotion of higher education as a common greater good for justice and peace is also one of the Jesuits’ main tenets not only for their members but also for humanity as a whole. For Innocent, the programs that S-CAR offer are an ideal complement to his faith and his vision of himself as a Jesuit priest for peace and social change.
Currently, Innocent intends to focus his studies on leadership for peace and reconciliation. This interest stems from Africa’s very checkered past of leaders who promote their own selfish agendas at the expense of peace, justice, and reconciliation in their respective countries. As such, Innocent wants to challenge these leadership styles.
After his education, Innocent has three plans: 1) to set up a center that will promote peace and reconciliation leadership; 2) teach, research and do community organizing as a preferential option for the poor and those in need; and 3) continue his Jesuit spiritual and ministerial work in the priesthood.