Dr. Charmion Gustke (English), along with Dr. Manuel Cruz (CTCM), recently hosted a talk by Nicholas Wolpe, a South African activist and scholar. On October 27, Wolpe spoke on incorporating the values of the liberation movement in the narrative and lived experience of postcolonial South Africa. The talk was a direct result of a Belmont Study Abroad program in Africa facilitated by Dr. Gustke and Dr. Cruz. Because of Dr. Gustke’s efforts, which included sponsoring Wolpe with funds from Belmont Study Abroad, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Theology and Christian Ministry, and the Massey School of Business, Wolpe was able to include Belmont University as one of his stops during his visit to the U.S., where he came to speak at The Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
Mr. Wolpe has spent the last 43 years dedicating his life and work to capturing and preserving the individual testimonies of those directly involved in the liberation struggle of South Africa. As the driving force and inspiration behind the Liliesleaf Museum, which Nelson Mandela called a place of “intellectual, ideological and strategic discourse and engagement,” Wolpe has fought to build a new all inclusive, non-racial, and democratic society predicated on the principle that South Africa belongs to all who live it be they black or white. In his talk, he explored the historical narrative that has emerged as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, examining the ideals, symbolism, and discourse of the Freedom Charter. This narrative, Wolpe contends, is the road map for constructing a socially cohesive society unified by a shared purpose and a deep respect for cultural difference.
L to R: Dr. Manuel Cruz, Nicholas Wolpe, Dr. Charmion Gustke