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South Africa Group

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On May 10, 2014, 11 Simmons students and two faculty members will fly to South Africa to write about the state of human rights more than two decades after the demise of one of the worst systems of racial domination ever constructed-apartheid-and 20 years since Nelson Mandela was elected the country's president.

This is the fifth such trip I've led in 11 years. The first four yielded articles that appeared in the Simmons Voice. So will this one-next fall. Articles from the first two appeared in student-designed books published by Africa World Press-Women to Women: Young Americans in South Africa (2005), and Old Wrongs, New Rights: Student Views of the New South Africa (2008).

I came to this project from a life spent working in and on Africa before I arrived at Simmons in 2002. My first visit to South Africa was in 1986 on a fact-finding mission for the Boston-based aid agency Grassroots International, which was building a program to support the anti-apartheid struggle.

Since 2002, I've taught journalism and African politics in the Communications and Political Science Departments. Upon my retirement after this trip, I will migrate to Boston University as a Visiting Scholar at the African Studies Center. If you want to know more about me, please visit my personal website

If you want to hear more about our trip, stay tuned. We will be blogging throughout the journey

--Dan Connell, Senior Lecturer, Professor of Practice


Recent Entries by South Africa Group

  • Forgive but don't forget: A lesson from South Africa
    Ntando Mbatha looks at the bunk bed where he spent his nights during his incarceration on Robben Island. He had the top bunk, but once slept on the floor when a hunger strike left him too weak to climb...
  • Remember: Water Is A Human Right
    The barely passable road that runs through an "informal settlement" within the Gugulethu township. Photo by Dan Connell. By Ayana Aubourg Water trickled down from the shower head after washing for about two minutes. Barely any came out of the...
  • Who are the South African Police?
    Courtesy photo. By Taylor Rapalyea Our group was packed into a van, cruising down a highway in Johannesburg when we heard a brief siren. At first we were confused - we couldn't crane our necks far enough to spot...
  • Working Through Unemployment
    TAC activist Mandla Majola says jobs and education are key to South Africa's future. Photo by Dan Connell By Laura Chandler Cape Town--Driving through the crowded streets, we see seas of people in tents at the side of the road....
  • Tense Faces Around a Table
    By Christine Gronberg Thirteen tense faces sit in two lines down a long wooden table, not a smile to be seen. The class had come back from an intense meeting with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Committee (WC/AEC) and a family...

See more on the South Africa Group blog »

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