November 1, 2017
"Se hace camino al andar" read the poster for the exhibition of Cuban art our Making the Road group visited this August in Havana. It's the same phrase ("Making the Road by Walking") that I chose decades ago as the basis for a name for my own efforts to link struggles by taking groups to visit Southern Africa. The quote, originally written in 1912, came from the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. But I learned of it in a 1990 book by Paulo Freire and Myles Horton, who exemplified the creative role of education that is an essential component of struggles for social justice.
After more than 50 years of travel to Southern Africa, and more than 35 years leading groups to Southern Africa, Brazil, and Cuba, I remain convinced that weaving such personal connections is indispensable for each of us to understand our own struggles in the places where we live. I plan to keep on keeping on with this endeavor as long as I am able, but I can only do it, as in the past, with your help.
So this update is, first, to ask your continuing financial support. If you have not yet contributed to Making the Road this year, please take a moment to consider whether you can do so now. To make your secure tax-deductible contribution, through the South Africa Development Fund, go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/SouthAfricaDevelopmentFund, and choose the designation for Making the Road. You can also send a check, made out to the South Africa Development Fund and designated for Making the Road, to SADF, 555 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130.
Making the Road is planning two travel seminars for the summer of 2018, one to South Africa and Namibia and the other to Cuba. The theme for both seminars is Teaching "Africa" in a Transnational Age: Countries, Continents, and Global Social Justice. The priority target constituency for these seminars is teachers, and there will be major emphasis on preparation and follow-up, so that the experience can be incorporated into ongoing educational work. Of course, in keeping with Making the Road practice, each seminar is also open to other activists and students interesting in dispelling stereotypes and promoting solidarity across national borders.
You can find an announcement with pre-application links for both seminars, as well as more information resources, on the Making the Road website at http://makingtheroad.com/new-resources.
I am very pleased to have working with me since June Andrea Meza, one of my former students who traveled with Making the Road to South Africa and Mozambique in 2016 and to Cuba this summer. Having graduated from Columbia College in May, Andrea is continuing her career as a jazz vocalist, artist, and social justice activist. She also began work part-time in June with Making the Road to help with coordination and outreach, and was the key person in organizing the Cuba seminar in August, while I was traveling in Southern Africa. Her illustrated report on the Cuba seminar is also available at http://makingtheroad.com/new-resources.
Unlike study-abroad or travel programs managed by universities and other large organizations, Making the Road has no full-time paid staff. I have always been blessed with ad hoc volunteer support from friends (you know who you are!). And in the last two years, Bill Minter at AfricaFocus Bulletin has partnered with Making the Road to provide some help with communication and database management. But managing Making the Road's work of preparing the seminars is not limited to the time and expense of the travel itself. So my request for your support is not only to contribute towards scholarship discounts for participants, but also to make possible the work that I and Andrea are doing in advance in Chicago to make the seminars happen. Currently we are aiming to raise a minimum of $10,000 by the end of this year, $5,000 to be reserved as a scholarship fund for participants and $5,000 so that both Andrea and I can dedicate sufficient time to advance outreach and planning in the first quarter of 2018.
You can make your secure tax-deductible contribution, through the South Africa Development Fund, by going to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/SouthAfricaDevelopmentFund, and choosing the designation for Making the Road. If you choose the option of making a quarterly or annual contribution, it will be enormously helpful in our planning. You can also send a check, made out to the South Africa Development Fund and designated for Making the Road, to SADF, 555 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130
Two other ways you can help:
- Download the 2018 announcement from http://makingtheroad.com/new-resources, and pass it on with your personal recommendation to teachers and activists who might be able to participate.
- If you have been on a Making the Road travel seminar in past, send Andrea a note (at email@example.com) telling her what seminar you were on, and including a personal comment about your experience that can be used in fundraising and recruitment for future seminars.
A luta continua,
Making the Road at Matola Raid Memorial, Maputo, Mozambique, June 2016
Please note. This address from which this email is sent is used for updates related to the Making the Road trips. For personal messages to Prexy, please continue to use his personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org.