For our fall 2023 Colloquium on the Environment, Penn State welcomed Dr. Mamphela Ramphele. Dr. Ramphele has had a celebrated career as an activist, medical doctor, academic, businesswoman and political thought leader.  Dr Ramphele was co-founder of The Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko reignited the struggle for freedom in South Africa. She is co-founder of ReimagineSA , co-president of The Club of Rome and Chair at the Desmond Tutu IP Trust. She has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her scholarship and leading role in promoting the empowerment of women, youth and other oppressed people in South Africa and globally. 

  • Monday, October 9th, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sparks 124, Dr. Ramphele delved into her personal and professional journey in a discourse at Penn State. As a key figure in the anti-apartheid struggle and a co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, Dr. Ramphele used the event to highlight her reflections on the intersections of the 30-year trajectory of South African democracy  with her own life story, which include becoming one of the first Black women medical doctors in South Africa and serving as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. 
  • Tuesday, October 10th, noon to 1:30 p.m., with a Colloquium on the Environment in the Foster Auditorium 102 Paterno Library, addressed critical topics related to sustainable development for all and laid out Dr. Mamphele’s vision for an intergenerational planetary community. (Video of session coming soon)
  • Wednesday, October 11th, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Nelson Mandela Lecture in the HUB Freeman Auditorium explored the human rights narrative, drawing connections between the struggles in South Africa and broader global human rights issues focused on bringing context to “Nelson Mandela the Man” a person with whom she collaborated extensively.  (Video of session coming soon)

This initiative was brought forward by Penn State Sustainability and Africana Research Center in collaboration with the Center for Global Studies, Institutes for Energy and the Environment, and Penn State Global. It is part of Penn State’s ongoing commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive environment, highlighting the significance of South Africa’s journey through democracy, environmental consciousness, and a relentless pursuit of social justice and equality.