Ubuntu Dialogues


United States Partners

MSU Museum: https://www.museum.msu.edu 

Committed to understanding, interpreting, and respecting natural and cultural diversity. As Michigan’s land-grant university museum, this commitment to society is met through education, exhibitions, research, and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and the world beyond. The MSU Museum has a strong commitment to engagement in projects that cultivate relationships locally and globally and has had experience in successfully developing and managing many grant-funded projects. The MSU Museum will play a central coordinating role in this project and will host conversations and seminars, build bridges among partners and participate in internships and fellowships.

Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences: https://matrix.msu.edu

Works with partners across disciplines to build globally networked resources and services that give life to the metaphor of “matrix”: an interconnected environment that supports the development of new tools, ideas, and applications of interdisciplinary research. Matrix also collaborates with external organizations such as museums, libraries, and archives to digitize collections of cultural resources significant for public access and education. Currently, Matrix houses major digital library repositories including the African Online Digital Library (AODL), Detroit Public Television’s American Black Journal video archives, Historical Voices, Quilt Index and What America Ate.

Matrix is committed to collaborating with developing countries and partners with limited resources, and uses inexpensive hardware and open-source software, combined with training for sustained use of such resources, to facilitate this. Matrix will facilitate the implementation of the Digital Humanities Portal for the project.

MSU Library: https://lib.msu.edu

The heart of research and community on campus, serving faculty and students in research, teaching, and learning. The Africana Collection of the MSU Libraries is one of the largest in the US, having been built up since 1960 to support broad faculty involvement in research and development projects on the continent. The South African holdings of the collection are particularly rich and well developed, boasting print books and periodicals, as well as archival collections, ephemera, and digital projects.

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum: https://broadmuseum.msu.edu

The MSU Broad connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry. With a focus on the art of our time—in dialogue with the historical—the museum encourages engagement with timely issues of local relevance and global significance. Through a program that features local, national, and international artists, a permanent collection of over 10,000 works, and dynamic public programming, the MSU Broad advances the values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity that are paramount to Michigan State University.

This living collection continues to grow and diversify, with significant holdings in Greek and Roman antiquities; pre-Columbian sculptures and vessels; North American and European sculpture, prints, photographs, and paintings; and works in a variety of media from African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cultures. The museum is a site for experiential learning, where students are encouraged to think critically and engage with multiple perspectives in ways that foster a culture of connectivity and inclusion. The MSU Broad Museum will be involved in this project by participating in seminars and by serving as a site for the internship program.

MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives: https://inclusion.msu.edu

This Office leads and supports efforts to advance a diverse and inclusive campus community, consistent with MSU’s core values. In addition to providing leadership for university-wide initiatives on inclusive excellence, the office works with campus and community partners to:

  • design and deliver education and training for students, faculty, and staff
  • coordinate grants to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion on campus; and
  • coordinate scholarships for community-involved students.
  • The MSU OIII will participate in organizing and supporting student dialogues as part of this project.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: https://www.thewright.org

Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has for over half a century been a leading institution dedicated to the African American experience. The mission of the museum is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. The museum vision is of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance and unity. The Charles H. Wright Museum will participate in this project by participating in seminars; participating in the internship program and student dialogues

Motown Museum: https://www.motownmuseum.org

Home to an extensive array of Motown artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia. The Museum is to preserve the legacy of Motown Record Company and to educate and motivate people, especially youth. The Museum’s mission is to preserve, protect and present the Motown Story through authentic, inspirational and educational experiences. The vision is that all generations will come to know, by inspired by and celebrate the true Motown.

Pave the Way – The I-496 Project: http://lansinghistory.blogspot.com/p/paving-way-i-496.html

The I-496 Project is a collaboration between the Historical Society of Greater Lansing (HSGL) and the city of Lansing, Michigan. Funded by a National Parks Service grant, the project tells the story of the construction of I-496 (an 11-mile auxiliary Interstate Highway that passes through downtown Lansing, MI). The project and storytelling detail the impact that I-496 had on the desegregation of Lansing and the success the Westside neighborhood had fighting redlining and promoting open housing at a time when homes in nearby cities and suburbs were closed to minorities.

HSGL is telling some of that story by conducting scores of oral histories of residents; creating a web-based interactive map showing which houses were torn down and where the families moved; creating a digital portal with the Library of Michigan to host research materials; creating a scrapbook detailing the construction and its disruption; mounting a traveling exhibit that will visually tell the story; and producing a short documentary.

HSGL is working with the Capital Area District Library, the Library of Michigan, and the Archives of Michigan to preserve photographs, ephemera, and objects from that place and era, so they may be seen by residents and historians in another 50 years. The Pave the Way project will be involved in this project by participating in seminars and by serving as a site for the internship program.

South African Partners

Robben Island Museum: http://www.robben-island.org.za

This post-apartheid national heritage institution and world heritage site  served as an apartheid prison for Nelson Mandela and others. Robben Island Museum will be utilized as a venue to host one of the seminars as well as hosting some of the graduate fellows from MSU as part of service learning.

Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation: https://www.tutu.org.za

Non-profit organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. It follows the example of Archbishop and Mrs. Tutu by supporting local and international projects and initiatives that promote peace, reconciliation and Ubuntu for the benefit of all. Archbishop Tutu is an honorary alumnus of MSU. The Foundation will host some of the graduate fellows so that they gain valuable learning experience. Archbishop Tutu is viewed by many as an embodiment of Ubuntu.

Dream Fuel: http://www.dreamfuel.co.za

A design company started by two young creatives in Cape Town. They organize museum teen summits to get young people involved in museums. Dreamfuel will host some of the graduate fellows as part of the program.

Iziko Museums of South Africa: https://www.iziko.org.za/

An amalgamation of national museums in Cape Town. Iziko’ is an isiXhosa word, meaning “a hearth”. Since the hearth of a typical African homestead usually occupies the central space, Iziko symbolizes both a hub of cultural activity, and a central place for gathering together South Africa’s diverse heritage. Iziko Museums will cohost some of the seminars as well as host some of the graduate fellows as interns.

Nelson Mandela Museum: https://www.nelsonmandelamuseum.org.za/

Ten years to the day after his release on 11 February 1990, the Nelson Mandela Museum opened its doors. Nelson Mandela insisted it was not just to be a static collection but a living memorial to his values and vision. It aims to inspire and enrich all who visit it, serve as a catalyst for development and should share the heritage and resources linked to him. The Nelson Mandela Museum is an important partner for the program. It will host some of the seminars as well as graduate fellows.

Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum: https://lwandle.com/

The first township-based museum in the Western Cape. It was established to commemorate thousands of migrant workers in Lwandle where millions of men and later women were forced into the migrant labor system during the dark days of apartheid. The museum opened its doors on 1 May 2000. As part for the program, Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum will host graduate fellows as part of service learning.

Stellenbosch University International (SU International)http://www.sun.ac.za/english/SUInternational

A support service division within the responsibility area of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalization. SU International contributes to the institutional objectives of SU and supports all the faculties where internationalization activities are primarily seated. SU International’s mission is to enhance SU’s African footprint, establish international alumni hubs, expand SU’s international networks, build SU’s international profile and work towards systemic sustainability in terms of income-generating activities. SU International will assist in the institutionalization of the program within SU and will assist in the drafting of agreements.

Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/arts/historical-trauma-transformation/overview 

Stellenbosch University goes to the heart of the issues at the forefront of contemporary debates about historical trauma, its expression in memory and its repercussions across generations. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the Chair will bring a critical research perspective to bear on the traditional approaches to trauma and its transgenerational repercussions, while seeking to engage with the question of the various expressions of transformation in post-apartheid South Africa, and what transformation means in the aftermath of a violent and oppressive past. The Research Chair will co-host the seminars and will assist in deepening the intellectual content of the seminars.