South Africa and Kentucky: Different Lands, Common Ground

There are going to be a lot of opportunities to foster international understanding this year. "South Africa & Kentucky: Different Lands, Common Ground," will provide the campus community as well as the general public with a closer look at the two societies’ rich histories and present-day conditions. The South Africa and Kentucky program covers topics across disciplines and formats: there will be a series of films shown, book reading groups, lectures and other presentations are slated for the 2010-2011 academic year, in addition to a course on South Africa and Kentucky.

The connections between South African history and the history of Kentucky will be explored throughout the coming year. South Africa has undergone one of the largest and most recent revolutions in our time. During this academic year, some of South Africa’s greatest social and political heroes will come to campus to interact with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community.

Through my academic research, I have had the honor of becoming acquainted with many of the leaders in South Africa along the way, which helped catalyze UK's "South Africa & Kentucky" efforts. Some of those whom I have encountered in my studies will be joining us in Lexington to educate and inform the community and campus.

My academic work has focused on the role of technology in democracy and political movements.  Through this work, I have been fortunate enough to meet many of the people at the forefront of change in a country that has re-defined itself. Many of these individuals not only served time in prison for their beliefs in equality, but have since worked closely with Nelson Mandela on building a new South Africa.

This is a tremendous opportunity for Kentucky. We're going to be a part of the international conversation.

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