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Sign the campaign! Rhodes University must transform!

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Sign the campaign! Rhodes University must transform!
Sign the campaign! Rhodes University must transform!
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**Update** VC Mabizela and the Rhodes Council have approved a 2 stage process for talks on changing the name of the University and discussing deeper transformation. We have to keep up the pressure to ensure this happens.

#RhodesMustFall because there is no place for statues and names of colonialists in South Africa. If we are truly committed to transformation and undoing the injustices of the past at Rhodes University, we should honour Makana struggle heroes, not the so called ‘founder’ of the southern African territory of Rhodesia.

In recent years a new wave of student activism resulted in the removal of UCT’s Cecil John Rhodes statue. We must sustain this momentum.

Let’s support the UCKAR students and alumni in their call to change the name of the university. Removing Rhodes' statues and name from our nation’s universities is only the start, as Rhodes student, Lihle Ngocobozi, creator the #RhodesSoWhite conversation, put it:

“...the challenging of the presence of historical artifacts of colonial violence should not be reduced to a removal of a statue, or the changing of the name of Rhodes University, or a social media campaigns. These are all entry points into broader conceptions of transformation and black students laying claim to space and the right for their space to be reflective of a transforming institution.” [1]

Rhodes Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, is under public pressure and is currently engaging alumni on the future of the university's name.

 

Dear Vice-Chancellor Dr Mabizela, UCKAR Senate and Council,

We, the undersigned call on you to change the name of the University Currently Known as Rhodes. Changing the name of the university does not sweep our history under the carpet; if anything, not changing the name perpetuates the past. We ask that this process of changing the university's name also engage the broader Makana Municipality and that local struggle heroes are considered in the renaming of the institution. You may have concerns that renaming the university will be costly and that some donors may decide not to support the institution, but many of us are committed to the university’s future and to real transformation. You will therefore have our full support. This campaign is about coming to terms with our history and moving forward. We hope you will join us in being on the right side of history.

Together for justice,

Estelle Prinsloo, Mpho Moshe Matheolane, Danielle Bowler, Ayesha Omar, Benjamin Fogel, Ines Schumacher, Romi Reinecke, Claire Waterhouse, Niren Tolsi and Nina Butler.

[1] Rhodes So White, by Lihle Ngocobozi for Oppidan Press.

[2] Rhodes VC says university’s brand is separate to that of Cecil John Rhodes, Aaisha Dadi Patel for the Daily Vox.

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Thanks to public pressure, the University currently known as Rhodes (UCKAR) is engaging with discussions around transformation and a possible name change. This is a critical moment for our campaign. Let's keep up the pressure.