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Embrace the Unknown: Lessons from African plains and Cambridge classrooms

Posted on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 — 9:36 AM

In 2004, Kristin Fleschner began a year as a Vanderbilt Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow, journeying to Africa to study sexual violence against women and children. Now a student at Harvard Law School, Fleschner received a pancreas transplant in 2007 and started experiencing vision loss in 2008.

“I’m leaving Africa with a heavy heart and a monumental task before me. When saying goodbyes at the Center for the Rehabilitation of Child Soldiers, Edna [not her real name]—an 18-year-old who was abducted by Ugandan rebels at the age of 12—asked me to promise her two things. First, not to forget the experiences and lives of the women I had been working with for the past year. Second, that I would use my voice to create positive change.”

—Excerpt from Kristin Flexchner’s journal, July 30, 2005

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Originally published in Vanderbilt Magazine


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