In the spring of 2009 news sources the world over reported that Hampshire College had become the first United States institution of higher learning to divest holdings from companies benefiting from the military occupation of Palestine. This victory in the international movement for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), was the product of a 3+ year campaign by the Hampshire college student group, Students for Justice in Palestine. And though the board agreed to remove those assets involved in the occupation, the administration contested the political significance of the move and denied that the divestment was related to the occupation.
One year after divestment, Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine worked with a student filmmaker to tell the story of their divestment campaign – the result is a 30 min documentary featuring interviews with a sampling of SJP’s membership and using footage of past SJP events and actions. It highlights the student campaign and this campus movement for Justice in Palestine. The film attempts to show links between SJP’s work and the history of social responsibility at Hampshire College, as Hampshire was also the first US School to divest from Apartheid South Africa in 1979.
“To Know is not Enough” is used in reference to Hampshire College’s official motto (Latin: Non Satis Scire). The school proudly holds this message to affirm that, as an educational institution, it attempts to reach beyond ‘mere’ knowledge, encouraging students to question accepted understandings and to put their knowledge to use for the betterment of our world. The story of SJP and divestment is only one among many student-led campaigns to hold Hampshire accountable to these founding values, and as part of that enduring legacy the film carries the school’s official slogan as it’s title: “To Know is Not Enough, How Hampshire Became the First to Divest”
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