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South Africa and USA Project

University of South Africa

  • Program Civil Society
  • Program Area Special Initiatives
  • Grant Amount $50,000
  • Grant Period May 1, 2004–June 30, 2007
  • Location Tshwane, South Africa
  • Geographic Focus Mississippi, South Africa

About this grant

This grant will support the South Africa and USA Project, a joint academic and cultural exchange program between the University of South Africa and the University of Mississippi. Despite being very different countries, South Africa and the United States share several common bonds: At some time in each country, often for similar reasons, blacks were subjected to discrimination, oppression and state-sponsored violence; and, while South Africa is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of its democracy, the United States is commemorating the 40th year of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Funding will enable the University of South Africa to invite a group from the United States – predominantly African American – to visit South Africa and share experiences on the progress made in addressing race relations in the respective countries. Planned activities include an international conference and public lectures on the theme, "Celebrating and Interrogating Freedoms: South African Democracy and U.S. Civil Rights;" choir performances throughout South Africa; and an art exhibition at the university’s art gallery on "Parallels to Freedom." These events will provide a platform for reflecting on how racism and prejudice still impact the world, and lessons in how to build tolerant societies.The University of South Africa is one of the largest correspondence universities in the world, with more than 200,000 students from all over the world.