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Leslie Lewis And MIRACLE IN RWANDA Are Honored By Ndaba Mandela and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Following the Friday evening performance of the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play "Miracle in Rwanda" at the Lion Theater, Leslie Lewis, co-creator and producer was celebrated for her heartfelt dedication to the healing of the Rwandan people through her art and her actions.

Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, spoke to Ms. Lewis in a pre-recorded video message played following tonight's performance sponsored by One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York. He congratulated her on the great work she was doing and wished her much success with the play. Mr. Mandela, recalled that while both South Africa and Rwanda suffered atrocities in 1994, both countries have made the conscious decision to move from the past in love and peace.

Hakeem Jeffries, attorney (D) member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York's 8th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, honored Ms. Lewis with a Congressional Proclamation commending her commitment to the people of Rwanda and her remarkable talent as an actress, writer and producer.

The presentation took place during an audience talk­-back featuring Leslie Lewis and actress Malaika Uwamahoro following one of the final performances of "Miracle in Rwanda" running through May 11th.

Allen DeWane of Acuity productions, a producer of the current off-Broadway run and many others including in South Africa, surprised Ms. Lewis with the tribute. He noted that Leslie has performed the play for over a decade on every continent except Antarctica where she received accolades and worldwide praise. Mr. DeWane also oversaw the production of an event with the Embassy of Rwanda at the United Nations to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda featuring a performance of "Miracle in Rwanda" and remarks by Rwandan Ambassador Valentine Rumongi. The event was co-hosted by Susan L. Taylor, who served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000.

MIRACLE IN RWANDA is the uplifting tale depicting the real-life events in Rwanda when Immaculée Ilibagiza survived -- along with 7 others-three months in a 3x4 foot bathroom during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Through her story of sheer survival, compassion and the power of faith amidst unbelievable hardship, Immaculée has been referred to as "our generation's Anne Frank," yet one who thankfully survived. To those who know her story, the true miracle is Immaculee's ability to forgive. This solo show stars Rwandan actress Malaika Uwamahoro, playing both killer and hunted; her performance lends redemption to this awful chapter of human history, bringing it full circle.

100 BLACK MEN OF NYC ONE Hundred Black Men provides scholarships, educational support, economic empowerment, mentoring, health and wellness initiatives, and serves as an overall voice of the African American community. Hon. David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of NYC, Rep. Charles Rangel, Jackie Robinson, and Reginald F. Lewis are among the present and past members.


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