Omega to Host Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner to Lead Workshop on the Significance of Apology and Forgiveness

RHINEBECK, NY - The Women's Institute at Omega is proud to announce that Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela will be teaching Apology, Remorse & Forgiveness in the Aftermath of Trauma: Making Public Spaces Intimate, a weekend workshop, August 24-26, 2007, on Omega's Rhinebeck campus. In 1994, when South Africa's apartheid regime ended, Gobodo-Madikizela served with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as one of ten members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), an unprecedented experiment in peace and justice designed to help the nation begin to heal from 48 years of violence, trauma, and hate. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of the TRC, Gobodo-Madikizela teaches skills that promote the practice of compassionate engagement between individuals and members of different groups, based on an inclusive and shared human identity.

"Forgiveness does not overlook the deed. It rises above it. This is what it means to be human, it says I cannot and will not return to the evil you inflicted on me. And that is the victim's triumph," states Gobodo-Madikizela. Throughout the workshop, Gobodo-Madikizela will use lecture, conversation, testimony, and video to demonstrate the effects of trauma and the significance of apology and remorse in healing the effects of traumatic injury. Those attending the workshop have an opportunity to explore the role of forgiveness and self-forgiveness and its relationship to mental health and well-being in individuals and society.

"The effects of personal, societal, and intergenerational traumas encourage the kind of insecurity and fear that cause an unhealed society to cope through the use of aggression, creating a climate where war is possible. Apology and forgiveness play a profound role in healing past traumas and promoting peace," said Carla Goldstein, Director of External Affairs at Omega. "Omega seeks to provide programming that supports our mission of bringing hope and healing to individuals and society," concluded Goldstein.

This workshop is designed for mental health professionals, teachers, lawyers, political activists, and community leaders, as well as individuals and groups in search of healing from hatred and from trauma and its intergenerational effects.

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About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.

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