One Struggle, Many Fronts: US-Africa Environmental Justice Tour


Between March 20 and April 3, the US-Africa Network will be leading a speaking tour in Detroit, Chicago, Louisville, Atlanta, Washington DC, Oakland, and Berkeley. We have multiple events planned in each city. Some of our event hosts are long-time African solidarity activists. Others are community environmental justice groups. And others are student fossil fuel divestment activists. Each event is tailored to its local audience, and many local activists will be included as speakers.

One Struggle, Many Fronts will build bridges. The tour will inspire US environmental activists to think about African struggles. It will inspire African solidarity activists to think about environmental justice. It will build real connections between these groups and African environmental justice organizations. Finally, it will strengthen the US-Africa Network for future projects. This is just the beginning.

The US-Africa Network is a volunteer-driven organization. We are always looking for more people to join us! All are welcome. Sign up here to get involved or email usan.climatejustice [at]

USAN Tour Schedule

US-Africa Network at the African Studies Association

Who: During the annual African Studies Association, the US-Africa Network is hosting an open meeting for anyone who is interested in learning about or participating in the the US-Africa Network

When: 8:00 am – 9:45 am on Saturday, November 23

Where: Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel. Room Waterview C-D

If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP to

More information on the African Studies Association*:

“On a geographically diverse continent, Africanists examine the multi-‑directional movement of people, things, capital, and ideas at many levels. We study not only the movements of people within the Global South and between the Global South and the Global North, but also the borders and the institutions created to police them, in relation to war, environmental change, and outside influence. We look at the transport of materials from one space to another by train, plane, and vehicle across mountains, deserts, lakes, and oceans. Increasingly we are discussing the fluid crossings of boundaries of identity in Africa, be they of religion, ethnicity, gender, language, or sexuality. In our era of social media and technology, we are examining the influence of mass media on the mobility of ideas, symbols, and material objects as well as their commoditization – both within Africa and between Africa and other continents. We look at the ways in which movement can create, sustain and reconfigure human relationships.

The ASA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of Africanist scholars in the world. With an attendance of almost 2,000 scholars and professionals, the conference offers more than 200 panels and roundtables, scholarly and professional plenary and institutional events, awards and prizes, as well as discussion groups, an international exhibit hall, and an on-demand film to appreciate the teaching, research, and professional results of Africanist scholars and that of their colleagues. The Annual Meeting is held in cooperation with major colleges, universities and museums in different regions of North America and attracts participants from North and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.”

*Text from

June 21-24: US-Africa Solidarity in the 21st Century: A Strategic Discussion

*UPDATE*  This event included 49 participants, traveling to Kalamazoo from 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and from four African countries. Click here to find more information on the event.

The US-Africa Network is inviting a small group of organizers, activists and scholars living and working in Africa and the US to Kalamazoo in June 2013. The consultation will include a broad range of constituencies and multi-issue groups (e.g., African Americans, immigrants and exiles, groups focused on specific issues such as human rights or health, students, trade unions, and allied groups on the African continent). These various groups have historically made essential and complementary contributions to organizing on US and Africa relations. Communication and consultation among allies to build a common vision is essential to renewing effective solidarity work. Some of the strategic planning questions that will be discussed are:

  • What are the highest priority “signature issues” that a progressive national organization on Africa in the US should be focusing on?
  • In the current context, what proportion of Africa solidarity work should focus on different kinds of targets of action, such as corporations, state and local governments, national government institutions, or others?
  • What are the specific needs that existing groups are not meeting, whether focused on specific issues, countries, US constituencies, or geographic areas in the US?
  • What new organizational structures may be needed to facilitate ongoing collaborative work to build a strong movement for progressive changes benefiting both Africans and Americans?

Panels on key policy issues will include:

  • Who Takes the Heat? Climate Justice & Preserving Our Common Resources
  • Follow the Money. Resource Flows and Tax Evasion
  • Whose Rights? Whose Responsibilities?: Human Rights in Africa and the USA
  • Whose Responsibility to Protect?: Violence and Human Security in Africa and the USA

Strategic planning sessions on organizational issues will include discussion of social justice leadership development, possible organizational structures for the network, plans for activities in the remainder of 2013, the possible choice of “signature issues” for the network to focus on, and how to frame issues, develop communications  strategies and organizational forms needed to catalyze and reinvigorate US/Africa activism.

Community Forums  

A number of the panelists and participants in the forum will participate in a local community forum the week following the Kalamazoo meeting, in Chicago (a two-and-a-half hour drive from Kalamazoo). The goals of this forum is to expand the conversation to include progressive activists from the United States and Africa. Details are still being worked out.


Serving as co-sponsors for these events are the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, which is providing the venue for the event,  and TrustAfrica, based in Dakar, which is assisting with contacts and financing for panelists coming from Africa for the events.