Defying Injustice

Lessons from Defeating Apartheid to the Arab Spring

An Interactive Dialogue Among Activists and Scholars

Defying Injustice-Banner

April 10, 2014

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Jerome Greene Annex, Columbia University Law School



The profound transformations that were the goals of the movement against apartheid are still works in progress.  However, the successes to date of those struggles and equally their notable failures have generated lively debates among the architects of later social movements. 

What are the linkages between the development of norms and the movement’s success “on the ground?” What organizational and advocacy tactics and strategies were crucial elements in the overall struggle? Does modern technology trump or simply build on organizing lessons from the past? 

This interactive dialogue, led by Gay McDougall, brings together scholars, researchers and activists from diverse social movements to consider how the fight against apartheid can inform current social movements.

This event celebrates the acquisition of the Gay McDougall South Africa and Namibia Papers by Columbia Libraries' Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research.

Photo credits: left: UN/Chris Sattlberger; center: Gwenael Piaser; right: Stefan Botez



Gay McDougall, former Director, Southern Africa Project, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, former UN Independent Expert on Minorities, and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham University School of Law


Cecelie Counts, former organizer, TransAfrica
Jennifer Davis, former CEO, American Committee on Africa
Ejim Dike, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network
Michael Wahid Hanna, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Habib Nassar, Director for Middle East and North Africa, PILnet, The Global Network for Public Interest Law
Jessica Stern, Executive Director, International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission


Sponsors: The Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research, Columbia University Libraries / Information Services, Friends of the Columbia Libraries, The Human Rights Institute at the Columbia Law School, The Institute for the Study of Human Rights, The Institute of African Studies, and The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at the Fordham University School of Law.

We also acknowledge the Council on Library and Information Resources, CLIR, for their generous support for the processing of the McDougall archives.



From Broadway and W. 116th Street-- Enter the Columbia campus through the large gates. Continue walking across campus and exit through the Amsterdam Avenue gates. Cross Amsterdam Avenue and continue walking along the north side of W. 116th Street. Pass the Jerome Greene HALL on your left and continue until you see a set of gates on your left. Enter the courtyard and follow the courtyard around to the right. The Jerome Greene Annex will be on your right, before you reach the Columbia Faculty House.


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