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Podcast Feature: Eradicating Intolerance, a conversation with Mehrdad Baghai & Hope Azeda

"You’re not born hateful. You’re not born racist... you learn that. And if you can learn it, you can unlearn it.”

As a member of the Baha’i Faith, Mehrdad Baghai experienced hate and vilification as a child. He grew up in Iran where some considered the Baha’i to be untouchables. It was confusing at first, but ultimately led Baghai to wonder, “What is it that gets really wonderful, smart, and well-meaning people to be induced to hate each other?.” Later, his life would be devoted to eradicating hate and intolerance.

In a different part of the world, McNulty Laureate Hope Azeda is using art to help a country heal. In the 1990’s, her family escaped rising ethnic tensions in Rwanda. She returned after the 1994 genocide, and it was devastating. “Going back to Rwanda, I found that all my relatives—none of them survived except for a cousin of mine, and my father’s property had been burned.” To pick up the pieces for herself and her country she started the Ubumuntu Arts Festival, held at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Through workshops, performances, panel discussions, and more, participants explore the trauma of conflict and our shared humanity.

On this episode of Aspen Insight, hear from two leaders working to heal wounds in their communities, and around the world.

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