May 11, 2016
We are writing to ask for your support for Prexy Nesbitt's upcoming Making the Road trip to South Africa and Mozambique. In late July, Prexy will take a group of 15 activists to Southern Africa to explore the theme "Unfinished Agendas: Liberation History and Today's Struggles" with counterparts in South Africa and Mozambique. We (see signatures below) have agreed to be members of Prexy’s Making the Road advisory committee because we are convinced that this is a particularly critical time to maximize Making the Road's proven capacity to inspire and connect activists to each other across generations, borders, and other divides.
If you are receiving this letter directly, you already know Prexy. Many of you have been on one of his trips, been in his classes, or in other ways been inspired and enlightened by the connections he has helped you make. If so, we are asking you to "pay it forward" to make it possible for young activists who could not otherwise afford it to go on this trip. Whether it is $20, $200, or $1,000, your tax-deductible contribution is needed now.
Donate by going to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/SouthAfricaDevelopmentFund, choose "Making the Road" as the designation for your contribution, and pay by Paypal or credit card. You can also send a check designated for Making the Road and made out to South Africa Development Fund, 555 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130.
Prexy has recruited an extremely impressive group of 15 participants for this trip, including several of his students in Chicago and experienced activists from several generations and around the country, who are involved in social justice movements such as BlackLivesMatter, gender, LGBT, climate, economic justice, Palestinian solidarity, and anti-violence. A few are over 35 years old, but most are younger.
As you are aware, the last two years have seen an unprecedented movement of progressive activism led by youth in the United States and Africa that has galvanized wider and wider support. From #RahmMustGo in Chicago to #ZumaMustFall in South Africa, young people, joined by older activists, are mobilizing to claim the full realization of the promises made by the civil rights movement in the U.S. and the liberation movements of Southern Africa for racial, gender, and economic justice. More and more people are waking up to the interconnections between these closely linked movements, in the context of global struggles for a sustainable future and truly universal human rights everywhere on the planet which is our common home.
Participants in the two-week Making the Road trip will visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Maputo. Most will be visiting Southern Africa for the first time, and the agenda is for dialogue with Southern Africa activists engaged in struggles for the future of their countries and on global issues that face Africa, the United States, and the planet.
As always, Prexy is working with his contacts in Southern Africa to keep costs to a minimum. He is also working to help younger participants overcome the barriers to participation by seeking support from their own communities. All will be raising at least part of the estimated $5,500-$6,000 cost of their own participation. But roundtrip airfare alone from the United States to Johannesburg may be as much as $1,500 per person. Most will need additional support.
As advisory committee members, we are committed to help Making the Road raise an additional $50,000 to ensure participation for all 15 who have applied. We ask you to join us in helping make this happen, whether the amount you can donate is large or small.
Four contributions of $40 each can pay the cost of a Mozambican visa for one person. And three contributions of $500 each can pay the cost of the intercontinental flight for one person.
In addition to contributing ourselves and sending this letter to Prexy's Making the Road list of over 450 supporters, we are also reaching out to our own personal contacts. We ask you to do the same by passing this email on with your own introduction of Prexy and a link to http://www.makingtheroad.com.
A luta continua,
Imani Countess, Solidarity Center, Washington, DC
P.S. Please note. This address is used for updates related to the Making the Road trips. For personal messages to Prexy, please continue to use his personal email: email@example.com
Allen Isaacman, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Heeten Kalan, South Africa Development Fund, Boston, Massachusetts
Bill Minter, AfricaFocus Bulletin, Washington, DC
Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois - Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Elizabeth Schmidt, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland