SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR ONELIFE LA 2017 ON JANUARY 21
Keynote Immaculée Ilibagiza, survivor of the ‘94 Rwandan genocide, among lineup of speakers to address tens of thousands about celebrating the beauty of every human life
Inspiring speakers will join Archbishop José H. Gomez at OneLife LA, on January 21, 2017 in downtown Los Angeles, for a large-scale event uniting people of all backgrounds throughout Southern California to celebrate the beauty and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.
“OneLife LA means sharing the love of God with others – especially those who are poor and forgotten, and those who are alone and excluded,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Join me and thousands in declaring a commitment to valuing and protecting all human life, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.”
Inspired by the example of Pope Francis, OneLife seeks to promote a culture of life, where every human life is valued and protected, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. The event, themed “Choose Love” will include a roster of international and national voices sharing their personal and life-affirming stories.
Immaculée Ilibagiza, regarded as one of world’s leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness will share her story with tens of thousands in downtown Los Angeles, as OneLife LA 2017 keynote speaker. Ilibagiza survived the Rwandan genocide where she and seven other women spent 91 days huddled silently together in the bathroom of a local pastor’s house. An estimated 800,000 people – including most members of Ilibagiza’s family – were brutally murdered during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. A living example of faith put into action, Ilibagiza said “the only thing that got me through was my faith in God.”
OneLife LA emcee Chris Stefanick will announce OneLife LA 2017 speakers to the public today at 2:30 p.m. PST on Facebook Live (see video here: https://www.facebook.com/1lifela). “Choosing love means putting your love into action, said Stefanick. “Last year at OneLife LA, 2,000 people pledged their time to support and help pregnant mothers and their babies, human trafficking survivors, the homeless, disabled people and those who are dying.”
Stefanick is an author and speaker whom Archbishop Charles Chaput called “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.” His live seminars reach more than 85,000 people per year. He founded the Real Life Catholic, a Denver-based nonprofit. Following are the OneLife LA 2017 speakers announced today.
- Christopher Duffley is a 15-year-old musician and gifted speaker who was born blind and lives with autism. He has sung the national anthem for the Red Sox at Boston’s Fenway Park, and his videos have reached tens of millions. Duffley performed for Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to the U.S.
- Kirk Bloodsworth is the first person in the U.S. to be exonerated from death row by DNA testing. Sentenced to death in 1985 for a murder he did not commit, he lobbied successfully in 1992 for “DNA fingerprinting” to be used on evidence collected at the crime scene. The tests established Bloodsworth’s innocence, and he was released from prison. In 1994 Maryland’s governor granted Bloodsworth a full pardon. He now works with Witness to Innocence, an organization that empowers death-row exonerees to speak up for an end to the death penalty. He is the subject of a book and a documentary, both titled Bloodsworth.
- With a fan base of over 100 million, Karyme Lozano is one of the most prominent international TV stars. She is the only actor in history to simultaneously play lead roles in two prime-time telenovelas on Univision. Lozano has been listed three times among People in Español’s “50 Most Beautiful People.” She co-starred in the epic movie For Greater Glory. Lozano is an active advocate for life and a founding board member of the Vida Initiative, which identifies and educates Latino leaders in the pro-life movement. Lozano wrote, produced and directed The True Meaning of Love, about a dying woman reflecting on a long-ago choice and its consequences.
OneLife LA, spearheaded by the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace, was first celebrated on January 17, 2015. The event united about 15,000 people to “Be Somebody to Somebody” in their own communities through good works. OneLife LA 2016 drew nearly 20,000 to downtown Los Angeles in celebration of the beauty and dignity of every human life. For the 2016 event recap and highlights, please visit http://onelifela.org/highlights/ and for 2015 event highlights, visit http://onelifela.org/2015event/.