Divestment for Humanity: The Anti-Apartheid Movement at the University of Michigan

V. Legacies of the Movement

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Activists rebuild a shanty on the Diag, May 23, 1988.

Over time, the anti-apartheid movement has become a somewhat “forgotten” moment in the University of Michigan’s history. However, the movement was important. It got results in its time and has had lasting influences. The movement raised awareness of South African apartheid on campus and played a role in eventually convincing the Board of Regents to divest all holdings in South Africa. The anti-apartheid movement also led to a push for UM to grant an honorary degree to Nelson Mandela. Since the movement ended, student-activists have continued to try to influence the University into making more ethical investment decisions. The anti-apartheid movement has helped inspire a new movement on UM’s campus to divest from Israel and supporters have called upon the South African divestment efforts to showcase the importance of placing humanity over profit.