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South Africa Immersion for USD Professor and Students

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Inside USD -- Last month, University of San Diego Political Science and International Relations Department Chair and Professor Mike Williams, PhD, took a group of USD students to Makuleke, South Africa.

The objective of this trip was for Williams and the students to partner with the New York-based organization Sharing to Learn in order to develop a working relationship with the Makuleke community (local students at Makuleke’s library, pictured, at right).

The USD contingent, calling themselves the USD South Africa Changemakers, participated in this first-ever service trip with Williams, who has done extensive research on African politics, with special interests in democratization, indigenous political structures, local governance, rule of law, the courts and constitutionalism.

Williams kept a blog during the trip about the group’s work and experiences. Included, too, is Williams’ most recent post (July 18) in which he mentions Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday and encouragement of South Africans to celebrate it through community service work. Williams took this opportunity to raise awareness about South Africa’s education inequalities.

“Addressing the existing educational inequalities in South Africa, and elsewhere, is the civil rights issue of the 21st century and it will demand the same type of organization, leadership, and unwavering dedication that Mandela epitomized during the struggle against apartheid,” Williams stated.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Photo courtesy of USD South Africa Changemakers

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