Conference Commemorates MSU's 40th Anniversary of South African Divestment

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Michigan State University’s decision to divest from companies doing business with apartheid South Africa, MSU is holding a conference on September 27th and 28th on “Campus Activism for Justice, from Southern Africa to Michigan.” Supported in part by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, the event is part of MSU’s Year of Global Africa.

Speakers from both South Africa and the United States will look back at the campaigns for justice which led to the successful MSU Board of Trustees decision to divest (resulting in MSU becoming the first university in the nation to completely divest and the subsequent State of Michigan passing more sanctions on South Africa than any other state). The conference also will put the divestment campaign into the larger context of campus movements that came before it, including activism at MSU by African Americans, women, and those opposed to the war in Vietnam. Campus activists from South Africa and MSU will also discuss some of today's student movements focused on such issues as global justice, responsible employment practices, and the environment.

Special guests from South Africa will include Dr. Somadoda Fikeni and Nomzamo Ntombela. Dr. Fikeni is a leading political commentator on contemporary political issues in South Africa and is a contributing consultant to the BBC. Dr. Fikeni, who earned an MSU Ph.D. in Political Science, was involved in political protest in South Africa before he arrived at MSU. In 2017 Ms. Ntombela was elected Chairperson of the Student Representative Council at Stellenbosch University.

The daylong conference on Friday, September 28th will be preceded on Thursday, September 27th, with a noontime lecture by Dr. Fikeni and an evening lecture South African Consul General Phumzile Mazibuko, and Reception – 6:00pm – 8:30 pm. All events on Thursday and the daylong conference at the MSU Main Library on Friday are free and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged.

This conference is co-sponsored by the MSU Libraries and the African Studies Center, with generous support from the  Vice-president, Student Affairs and Services, Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement, Office of Inclusion and Inter-cultural Affairs, College of Social Science, James Madison College, College of Education, College of Law, College of Arts and Letters, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Department of History, Department of Sociology, and MATRIX.

 

Agenda

Main Library Green Room 

(366 West Circle Drive, East Lansing MI 48824) 

This conference commemorates the 40th anniversary of Michigan State University’s decision to divest from companies doing business with apartheid South Africa. The conference also will put the divestment campaign into the larger context of campus movements that came before it, including activism at MSU by African Americans, women, and those opposed to the war in Vietnam, amongst others. Campus activists from South Africa and MSU will also discuss some of today’s student movements focused on such issues as global justice, responsible employment practices, and the environment. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018 

12:00–1:30 p.m. Eye on Africa: Somadoda Fikeni, Contributing Consultant 

BBC (Contemporary Political Issues in South Africa) 

(NOTE LOCATION: International Center Room 201) 

2:00–3:00 p.m. Lunch 6:00 p.m. KEYNOTE: Ms. Phumzile Mazibuko, Consul General, 

South African Consulate in Chicago 

(Main Library Green Room) 

 

Friday, September 28, 2018 (Main Library Green Room) 

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Overview 

9:15 a.m. PANEL ONE: 1960s Activism at MSU 

10:30 a.m. Break 

10:45 a.m. PANEL TWO: Divesting from Apartheid South Africa: 

MSU & the Michigan Legislature 

12:30 p.m. Lunch / Activism Fair / Special Collections Open House 

2:00 p.m. PANEL THREE: Contemporary Student Activism at MSU 

3:30 p.m. Open Mic 

5:00 p.m. Adjourn 

 

All events are FREE and OPEN to the public. 

Registration by 9/5/18 is strongly encouraged: bit.ly/MSUCampusActivismConference