South African Educators Visit Oxford to Learn, Collaborate

(Left to Right: Andre Keet, Susan Glisson, Brandi LaBanc, Lee Tyner)

“The learning has been sublime, the experiences enriching, the analyses educative, and the hospitality second to none.”

The above words were written two weeks ago by a South African concluding a visit to the Winter Institute.

It was Professor Andre Keet, director of the University of the Free State’s Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, in South Africa. Professor Keet was joined by Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, who oversees University of the Free State’s internationalization endeavors.

It is significant that international figures in reconciliation and justice are drawn to Oxford to exchange ideas and collaborate with us. Our work mirrors one another’s in many ways, and vast opportunities exist to work together.

While here, they met with Institute staff; Brandi LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs; and Lee Tyner, University attorney and Institute board member.

Foremost among these opportunities are exchanges of students, faculty, and staff, which will result in academic partnerships, e.g. an anthology of reconciliation work, and cultural cross-pollination that explores the convergences and divergences of South Africa and the American South.

We are humbled by Professor Keet’s description of our work: “a purposive direction to make history express itself in service of an inclusive present…with all its challenges and learning moments,” concluding, “We salute you!”

As we deepen this partnership with the University of the Free State and other South African friends, we lift up a phrase learned from them: “A luta continua.” The struggle/work continues.
(Left to Right: Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, Brandi LaBanc, Andre Keet)

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