Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement

Document Type



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Publication Date

Spring 2009


African Americans, Mozambique, Ithaca, Apartheid, Anne Evens


African American Studies | African History | African Languages and Societies | American Politics | Civic and Community Engagement | Cultural History | History | Inequality and Stratification | International Relations | Other Political Science | Place and Environment | Political History | Political Science | Political Theory | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Work, Economy and Organizations


Length: 84 minutes

Oral history interview of Anne Evens by Beth Thenhaus

Ms. Evens begins by recalling her childhood memories, growing up in Evanston with two academic parents. She began her work in activism during high school, demonstrating for stricter gun control laws and against racism. She explains how she first learned about Apartheid South Africa as she learned about the struggle of Palestinian people in Israel and the economic ties between the two countries. She explains how she became involved in anti-Apartheid efforts on her first day of college when she was introduced to the South African Divestment Coalition, that succeeded in forcing Cornell University’s divestment from South Africa. She explains how she continued her work for the cause in Chicago, after completing her degree, by joining the Coalition for Illinois Divestment from Southern Africa. She describes her anti-apartheid work in Mozambique, as part of the Mozambique Support Network, where she lived for seven and a half years working for the government as an engineer. She recalls her work with the anti-apartheid movement after returning to Chicago. She cites a number of influential people in her life, including social activist and politician Julian Bond, poet Lina Magaia, and others. She touches on the repercussions she and some colleagues faced as a result of their activism and she reflects on state of South Africa and Mozambique today and the personal impact her work has had on her life.

Biography and Comments

Anne Evens was born in Berkeley, California and raised in Evanston, Illinois. She was a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York from 1981 to 1985 where she was co-chair of the South Africa Divestment Coalition. She worked in Mozambique with the Mozambique Health Committee and the Mozambique Agricultural Rural Reconstruction Program for several years and continued her activism after returning to Chicago. She currently serves as CEO of Elevate Energy, a non-profit devoted to providing clean and affordable heat, power, and water to communities.

The interviewer conducted this oral history as part of his/her coursework for the Spring 2009 class, Oral History: The Art of the Interview. This interview supports the scope and content of the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection at the College Archives & Special Collections department of Columbia College Chicago. Contact for more information and to view the collection.

Additional Files

Interview with Anne Evens.pdf (202 kB)



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