As part of our ongoing Bridging Divides series, join us for a film screening and discussion that explores the often forgotten history of how ‘ordinary’ Americans stood up to bridge the gap between their ideals and American foreign policy.
The movement to end apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994) became a global struggle that culminated with the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black President. It may be surprising to remember that the United States government was one of South Africa’s most important allies, and supported the apartheid regime as late as 1986.
We will be screening “From Selma to Soweto”, the fifth episode of the award-winning film series Have You Heard from Johannesburg, which recounts the local, grassroots efforts in Chicago and across the United States to change foreign policy toward the South African government in the 1980’s.
Following the screening, the film’s Producer and Director Connie Field will be joined by a distinguished panel to discuss the film and the significance of this important, yet often overlooked recent history.
- Lisa Brock is the Academic Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She is the author of Between Race and Empire: African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution. A leader in the anti-apartheid movement in Chicago during the 1980s, she lived in Mozambique as a Fulbright Scholar and successfully merged her academic interest with the global movement for democracy in Southern Africa. In the mid-2000s, she co-founded the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection (archives) at Columbia College Chicago.
- Connie Field (Producer & Director) has worked on numerous documentary films. Her Oscar-nominated documentary Freedom on My Mind (1994) is a history of the civil rights movement in Mississippi. She was a director on Forever Activists (1990 Academy Award nominee), and she produced, directed, and edited The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1981). She is a recipient of the John Grierson Award as most outstanding social documentarian, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- Prexy Nesbitt conducted anti-apartheid organizing in every state in the U.S. He worked for the American Committee on Africa, Africa Action, and as the first National Director of the Committee to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa. He also worked with the World Council of Churches Program to Combat Racism in Geneva Switzerland and as Senior Consultant to the Mozambique Government. He served as a co-writer of the 1999 BBC/PBS film series, “Skin Deep,” a documentary about race in the United States and South Africa. Prexy teaches African History at Columbia College, he has lectured and written extensively, and he takes groups on educational, cultural and political tours to various ‘Third World’ countries.
- Vuyiswa Tulelo, South African Consul General. Consul General Tulelo hails from Kimberley in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. She is the first woman to be elected as Deputy Chair of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, where she was responsible for the formulation of the South African Youth Policy. She joined the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation in November 2011 and was heading the Youth and Gender Chief Directorate, until she took up her responsibility as Consul General in Chicago in 2012.
- Jonathan Peck (Moderator) – Jonathan Peck, former President and CEO of the Tucson Urban League has over 23 years experience in the community development field facilitating projects at the neighborhood, citywide, national and international levels. Jonathan was Associate Director of the Southwest Youth Collaborative (SWYC), a Chicago-based organization dedicated to the development of low-income youth. Jonathan has extensive international experience most notably, but not limited to, in Southern Africa and Latin America.
We are pleased to partner with the South African Consulate General in Chicago.
This event is part of Bridging Divides, a series that draws on the humanities to help local communities address seemingly intractable social, cultural and political divides. The Bridging Divides series is made possible in part by the generous support of The Boeing Company and is part of the IHC’s Conversations on Contemporary Issues program.
If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit ChicagoParkingMap.com.