RE: Our immediate future
by Immanuel Wallerstein, Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Binghamton, New York, United States
November 30, 1982
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Memorandum to ACAS Executive Board members from Co-chair Immanuel Wallerstein saying that the Board meeting in Washington, D.C. exposed both the strengths and weaknesses of ACAS as presently constituted. The strength lies in the unquestioned need for an organization that can bring to bear the expertise and even more the prestige of Africa scholars in support of African liberation. The basic weakness is that ACAS has had 150-odd members with about 10-15 people who give time as well as dues, whereas we need minimally 400 members and 30-40 people who give time. How can we make that change? It was agreed to: (1) arrange a general meeting of ACAS on Dec. 6, 1983 (before the Boston ASA meeting) to produce the viable structure from that point forward; and (2) sustain the infrastructure of the organization until then. The three major sectors of activity for the next year are: (1) preparation of the ACAS general meeting, (2) production of the ACAS Newsletter, and (3) response to political crisis situations as they emerge, as well as maintaining the membership. These sectors must operate relatively autonomously and be self-sustaining. Wallerstein and David Wiley have assumed responsibility for task (1) - the make-or-break session for ACAS. If we are to survive and flourish, we must persuade a large number of people that ACAS can be a pro-active (not reactive), eminently political organization. The sessions must therefore be oriented to developing a program of action in the U.S. for the two-year period following the ACAS general meeting. We must emerge from the meeting with a set of directives to ourselves and the enthusiasm with which to do the task. The memorandum also mentions U.S. policy under Reagan, Jean Sindab, Jennifer Davis, Bill Minter, Alan Cooper, Zaire, divestment, CIA, DOD (Department of Defense), USIA (United States Information Agency), Hunt Davis, George Shepherd, Joel Samoff, Marylee Wiley, Carol Thompson, Chris Root, and Jim Turner.
Used by permission of several co-chairs of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers