Last semester, art students in Brett Colley’s class on printmaking, invited me to come talk about the Grand Rapids People’s History Project. The intent of the class was to have students investigate their own part of a People’s History of Grand Rapids and then make a print based upon an individual social movement or a particular moment in Grand Rapids history.
This print is by Jenny DeWitt and celebrates the 1985 Grand Rapids School Board vote in favor of divesting from Apartheid South Africa. The GRPS School Board voted 7 – 2 in favor of divesting from South African Apartheid. This effort was part of a decades long campaign that included getting the City of Grand Rapids to divest and Calvin College to divest from Apartheid South African. The only entity that did not endorse the campaign was the Kent County Commission.
One can read about the decades long campaign against South African Apartheid, by clicking here to read the 92 pages on the Grand Rapids anti-Apartheid movement.