Writer Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda and studied electronic and mechanical engineering at the National University. During the Rwanda genocide in 1994, she and seven other women spent 91 days in a bathroom of a local pastor's home. She lost most of her family at this time. Four years later, she immigrated to the United States and began working at the United Nations in New York City. She is currently a full-time public speaker and writer. In 2007, she established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund to help support Rwandan orphans and others who suffered from the long-term effects of genocide and war. She has received numerous humanitarian awards including the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace 2007 and a Christopher Award.
Evangelical pastor Richard Duane "Rick" Warren was born in San Jose, California on January 28, 1954 and grew up in Ukiah, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University, a Master of Divinity degree in 1979 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Warren worked at the Texas Ranch for Christ before founding the megachurch Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California in 1980. He has written or co-written several Christian books, including the bestselling guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, and The Purpose Driven Life. Warren has lectured as a theologian at many noted universities and seminaries and was chosen in 2008 by President-elect Obama to give the invocation at his inauguration ceremony.