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Turning Personal Trauma Into Community Healing

Father Michael Lapsley is a South African liberation activist and priest who knows firsthand what it is like to experience trauma. In 1990, a mail bomb intended to assassinate him caused him to lose both of his hands, an ear, and an eye.

He later worked alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and founded his own organization, the Institute for Healing of Memories, that works on community healing and restorative justice around the world.

Lapsley often visits the U.S. to lead workshops and meet with communities, including combat veterans and members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Host Frank Stasio talks with Rev. Lapsley about his personal story and professional mission for social transformation.

Rev. Lapsley will be hosting public events throughout the state through Tuesday, September 15.He'll speak at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham tonight at 7 p.m.; All Souls Cathedral in Asheville on Sunday, Sept.13 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Warren Wilson College on Monday, Sept.14 at 7 p.m.; and Mars Hill University on Tuesday Sept.15 at 11 a.m. 

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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