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Douglas Wachholz collection on the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Africa Project

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 415 large
The Douglas Wachholz collection on the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Africa Project includes extensive material related to the case American Committee on Africa v. The New York Times which for Wachholz served as the lead lawyer for the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and other plaintiffs, a position he continued after leaving the staff of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL).

Dates

  • 1970 - 1977

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Access The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

Extent

3.4 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Douglas Wachholz was the first director of the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law from 1973-1975 (originally called the Africa Legal Assistance Project). The purpose of the Project was to provide legal assistance both to victims of racial repression in Southern Africa and to individuals and organizations in the United States working to promote human rights in Southern Africa. The project provided legal assistance to black political leaders and other opponents of apartheid in South Africa and Namibia who have been detained incommunicado or arrested under one of the many repressive statutes. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL) was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination in the United States. The Committee's major objective is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity. The Lawyers' Committee's primary focus is to represent the interest of African Americans in particular, other racial and ethnic minorities, and other victims of discrimination, where doing so can help to secure justice for all racial and ethnic minorities. In 1967 and 1968 the Committee began its work on South Africa much of which was done by Peter Connell was deputy director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In 1973 Douglas Wachholz was hired as the first director of the Africa Legal Assistance Project, the name of which was later changed to the Southern Africa Project (SAP). SAP financed and helped direct the defense of thousands of political prisoners in southern Africa, supported lawyers in their challenges to apartheid laws, and helped raise the consciousness of policymakers in the U.S. Congress and other branches of government about human rights issues in the region. SAP did work on to include Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The directors of SAP were Douglas Wachholz (1973-1975), Michael Peay, Millard W. Arnold and Gay McDougall (1980-1994). Under the leadership of Gay McDougall, SAP also made a major contribution to the liberation of Namibia. SAP founded the Commission for Independence of Namibia, a bipartisan group of 31 distinguished Americans who monitored the yearlong, U.N.-mandated process leading to independence.

Arrangement

Collection in original order according to legacy finding aid.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Douglas Wachholz.

General

Part of the African Activist Archive collection

Processing Information

Sources consulted in the creation of this finding aid include Douglas Wachholz; Gay McDougall; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law website, "The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 1963-2003" by Charles T. Lester, Jr.; and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law documents on the African Activist Archive website.
Processing Information Original arrangement and description of this collection unknown. Finding aid revised by Lydia Tang in 2018.
Title
Finding Aid for the Douglas Wachholz collection on the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Africa Project
Status
Cataloged
Author
Original finding aid author unknown, revised by Lydia Tang in 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48824 USA
517.884.6471