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Ugandan educator Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe to visit DePaul University

School for New Learning to host film screening, breakfast with commencement speaker

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a Ugandan educator who empowers women and girls who survived brutality at the hands of rebels, will give a commencement address for the School for New Learning at DePaul University. (Photo by Jamie Moncrief)
CHICAGO — Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe uses her voice, faith and aluminum pull tabs to change women’s lives in Uganda. Nyirumbe will visit DePaul University June 11-13 to celebrate commencement with the School for New Learning, screen her film “Sewing Hope” and be guest of honor at a breakfast on campus. 

Recognized last year as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Nyirumbe has achieved international prominence through her advocacy for women and girls who have survived kidnappings and extreme violence in Uganda. She runs schools to teach practical and vocational skills so these survivors can reclaim their economic independence. Her students learn to sew and create purses using tabs from aluminum cans, which they in turn sell to support themselves and their families. Her work is the subject of a film and book, both entitled “Sewing Hope.”

Film screening of “Sewing Hope”
June 10
5-8:30 p.m.
DePaul Loop Campus
14 E. Jackson Blvd.
Lower Level Theater
“Sewing Hope” follows Nyirumbe as she leads a vocational school in Gulu, Uganda, for women and girls who were kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. Many were forced to become child soldiers. Filmmaker Derek Watson mixes first-person accounts and edgy animation as actor Forest Whitaker narrates Nyirumbe’s fight to bring hope back to her troubled nation. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP at or by calling 312-362-7697 or emailing

Breakfast and discussion with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe
June 11
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9a.m. Program
10:15 a.m. Book Signing
DePaul’s Lincoln Park Student Center
2250 N. Sheffield Ave. , Room 120
The DePaul community welcomes Sister Nyirumbe for a breakfast, lecture and discussion. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP at or by calling 312-362-8455 or emailing

DePaul University School for New Learning commencement ceremony
June 13
3 p.m.
Rosemont Theatre
5400 N. River Road, Rosemont
Nyirumbe will address graduates of DePaul’s School for New Learning during commencement ceremonies. Nyirumbe received an honorary doctorate in December 2013 from DePaul in partnership with Tangaza University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Donate pull tabs to support women in Uganda
The School for New Learning is collecting aluminum pull tabs to send back to Uganda with Nyirumbe at the end of June. These pull tabs are valued materials that can help women and girls create purses to help sustain themselves and their families. Tabs will be collected at the events above or can be dropped off or sent to School for New Learning, DePaul University, 1 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois, 60604. Contact Derise Tolliver Atta at with questions.

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