Proceedings of the Board of Regents Meeting held on May 11, 1987

About the Project

To what extent did Smithsonian’s Board of Regents make decisions according to what is “morally right”? This exact phrase came up in this May 1987 meeting, in which the Board voted to divest the $32 million in stocks that Smithsonian still had in companies with operations in South Africa during the period of apartheid. But the decision was certainly not without debate. Some Regents opposed targeting South Africa, when other nations were violating human rights, as well, and argued that the government, not the companies, were to blame. In the end, the Assist us in transcribing these meeting minutes to better understand why Smithsonian decided to divest, choosing to “lead, not simply comply” in protest of apartheid.

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