HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Author & Human Rights Activist


  • Immigration and Refugees
  • Refugee Resettlement and Integration
  • Women and Children in Armed Conflict
  • The Power of Education
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child


New York
More Media

Sandra Uwiringiyimana is the co-founder of the Jimbere Fund, a human rights activist, and the author of the memoir How Dare the Sun Rise (Katherine Tegen Books).

This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. Uwiringiyimana tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future, and how she found a way to give voice to her people.

In telling her story, Uwiringiyimana has shared the world stage with Charlie Rose, Angelina Jolie, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Tina Brown at the Women in the World Summit. She addressed the United Nations Security Council at the request of Ambassador Samantha Power to plead with world leaders to act on the pressing issue of Children in Armed Conflict. Uwiringiyimana has become a voice for women and girls, refugees and immigrants, and forgotten people like the Banyamulenge Tribe.

Currently, Uwiringiyimana is a student at Mercy College in New York City.

Praise for Sandra Uwiringiyimana:

"Hosting Sandra Uwiringiyimana at Lancaster Country Day School was beneficial to our students and community members. Students chose her book for our summer reading program and Lancaster is one of the largest cities for refugee resettlement. Her visit inspired our students and brought a better understanding of the refugee experience to our community."
--Joie Formando, Lancaster Country Day School

Praise for How Dare the Sun Rise:

"This gut-wrenching, poetic memoir reminds us that no life story can be reduced to the word ‘refugee.’ Uwiringiyimana weaves the pieces of her life into a fine tapestry that evokes deep empathy, even as it provides an excellent introduction for young readers to the political and economic climate in a conflict-ridden African region.”
--New York Times Book Review

“The title is a critical piece of literature, contributing to the larger refugee narrative in a way that is complex and nuanced but still accessible for a YA audience. This poignant memoir is a must-have for teen collections.”
--School Library Journal (starred review)

“As America’s doors threaten to shut against refugees, this memoir could not be timelier. Her ability to summon the chaos and terror is extraordinary, but then, so is she. [Uwiringiyimana] has emerged as a powerful spokesperson for the plight of the dispossessed.”

“With compassion and perspicacity, Uwiringiyimana shares the journey through which she became a courageous advocate for her tribe and refugees everywhere: ‘This is my story.... I must keep telling it, until the international community proves.... that my family and all others are not disposable.’”
--Publishers Weekly

“[A] story of tragedy, terror, survival, and hope. [Uwiringiyimana] becomes a powerful voice for many who are silenced: girls, women, and immigrants everywhere, refugees in particular. This hard-hitting autobiography will have readers reeling as it shows one young woman’s challenging path to healing.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“A brave and honest story that puts a human face on the international refugee crisis-and asks us all to walk a mile in Sandra’s shoes.”
--Patricia McCormick, author of Sold and Never Fall Down

“Sandra’s life story has profound power. From Africa to America, to the world-an inspiring tale and a riveting read.”
--Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer, Hearst Magazines

“In a world on fire, Sandra’s story of survival delivers essential truths and a message of peace and unity that speaks to us all.”
--Tina Brown, founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media/Women in the World

“Sandra shatters stereotypes and the myth of "other-ness" with her presentation, which touches on her experiences as a child of conflict as well as an American immigrant. From our attendees responses, it's safe to say that this was one of the most, if not THE most, moving and impactful presentations we've seen at this annual conference.”
--Sue LeBlanc, Coordinator, Madison-Oneida BOCES