Posts Tagged ‘Anywar Ricky Richard’

SUNY Canton Living Writers Series Hosts Keely Hutton Sept. 25

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

An author who has written a critically acclaimed novel about the Ugandan civil war will visit SUNY Canton this month as part of the popular Living Writers Series.

Keely Hutton will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Keely Hutton

She is the author of the 2017 book “Soldier Boy,” which is based on the life of Ricky Richard Anywar, who at age fourteen was forced to fight in the guerilla army of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. Years after escaping, Ricky founded the charity Friends of Orphans and has dedicated his life to assisting in the rehabilitation of other child soldiers.

“Keely Hutton has written a tremendously powerful novel about Ricky’s experience as a child soldier,” said SUNY Canton Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche, who created the series. “In the midst of a wartime nightmare, we see young men and women struggling to maintain the faintest shreds of kindness, compassion and dignity. The book is simultaneously horrifying and heartwarming as it shows both the best and worst of human behavior. It is also an insightful lesson on how we can help individuals recover from tragedy and trauma.”

Hutton, a Canton native, is a former eighth grade English teacher and recipient of the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop scholarship at Chautauqua. Since 2012, she has been working closely with Ricky to tell his story. “Soldier Boy” is a 2017 Booklist “Editors’ Choice” and was selected by the International Literacy Association as a “Notable Fiction of 2017.”

Ricky is a recipient of the Harriet Tubman Freedom Award and previously visited SUNY Canton in 2008 to tell his story of childhood slavery and discuss his charity work.

Hutton is the first of three guest speakers who will visit the college this fall. Bestselling author Mary Karr will appear Oct. 30 and writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah will be the final speaker Nov. 28. For more details, visit


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 16 online degree programs. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference.

Former Slave and Award Winning Humanitarian to Speak at SUNY Canton, November 14

Monday, November 3rd, 2008
SUNY CANTON GUEST SPEAKER - Award winning humanitarian and former childhood slave Anywar Ricky Richard will be speaking at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Kingston Theater.

SUNY CANTON GUEST SPEAKER – Award winning humanitarian and former childhood slave Anywar Ricky Richard will be speaking at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Kingston Theater.

CANTON – An upcoming SUNY Canton guest speaker helps children escape the horrors he once faced as a childhood slave in Africa.

Anywar Ricky Richard, who is the 2008 Harriett Tubman Committee Freedom Award Winner, will be presenting his tale of overcoming social injustice by escaping from childhood slavery at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Kingston Theater. This event is sponsored by the SUNY Canton Character Development Committee and the SUNY Canton Spiritual Life Committee. This event is free and open to the public.

Richard and his brother were just 2 of 25,000 Ugandan children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced into slavery as child soldiers. The 22 year old war is all that most of those children have ever known. All of the children see and do what no child should ever experience.

“Sometimes I fear people forget that slavery is still a problem in modern society,” said William J. Fassinger, Associate Professor of Criminal Investigation and Character Development Committee member. “Anywar Ricky Richard knows first-hand about the political turmoil that is going on right now in the world. He beat the system and overcame the odds.”

Richard has since returned to the war zone and turned his freedom into a lifeline for other child slaves. In 1999, Ricky and his friends started Friends of Orphans, an organization dedicated to empower and reintegrate former child soldiers into the very society torn apart by atrocities the children were forced to commit. They carry out their peace building projects through organizing music, cultural, and sports programs, among other life reclaiming activities.

Fassinger explained that Daniel G. Fay, Professor of Accounting, recommended Richard for this presentation. Fay’s son John, who is works for a foundation investing in emerging markets, had heard Richard speak in Washington D.C.

“He is one of the most riveting speakers he had ever heard,” Fay said. “Mr. Richard’s story epitomizes the worst and best of humankind. Anyone who listens will be deeply moved.”

The Character Development Committee exists, in part, to encourage members of the SUNY Canton community to promote a set of desirable core values including trustworthiness, honesty, responsibility, and sense of caring.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.