Just Donít Do It Campaign at the University of Michigan.

The Just Don't Do It Campaign began small; a group of U. of Michigan students and faculty who were concerned with the Universityís association with the swoosh. The reasoning behind the campaign was straightforward. Michigan is recognized as one of the premier institutions in the world - the academic and athletic achievements of its faculty and students are recognized worldwide. In the face of this recognized standard of excellence, the contract with Nike appeared overwhelmingly hypocritical.

Nike's public image is also recognized across the world. Slogans such as "Just Do It" and "Let Me Play" appeal to notions of freedom and individualism. To many youth the swoosh is seen as a symbol of strength - the ability to push oneself farther and break down barriers erected by society. Yet Nike has hid behind the glossy commercials and slick image and in the background has become a creator of the same barriers they allege to break down. Nike has shoe, apparel and sporting goods factories in countries that are notorious for human rights abuses. Nike workers, usually young women, are paid substandard wages, work long hours with few breaks, are regularly exposed to hazardous chemicals and are subject to corporal punishment.

With the Nike contract, the U. of Michigan has become implicated in these abuses. By forming a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with Nike, the U. of Michigan has allowed its coaches, staff and athletes to become walking billboards for Nike, and its players, sports team and prized M logo synonymous with the swoosh.

The Just Don't Do It Campaign demands that the U. of Michigan suspend its contract with Nike and calls upon Nike to agree to the following conditions:

  • Pay a living wage, one not based on overtime.
  • Promote working conditions consistent with human rights.
  • Allow workers the freedom to join a union and engage in collective bargaining.
  • Allow independent monitoring by local human rights organizations.
  • Allow the redress of claims by workers fired for protesting working conditions.

Recent Just Don't Do It Campaign actions have involved: Coalition of Asian Social Work Students, College Democrats, East Timor Action Coalition, Environmental Action, Environmental Clearinghouse, Environmental Issues Commission of MSA, Environmental Justice Group, Free Mumia Coalition/Anti-Racist Action, Global Exchange, Guild House Campus Ministry SIGN, Huron Valley/Student Greens, Overseas Development Network, Solidarity, Student Peace Action at U. of M., United Food and Commercial Workers Local 951, Vietnamese Student Association, Womenís International League for Peace and Freedom.


The Just Don't Do It Campaign at the University of Michigan
The U. of Michigan's contract with Nike
Where it all began
Nike's track record
Nike drops the ball--the Andrew Young report
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Organizations, Resources, and References
Appendix 1. Breakdown of costs for a pair of Nike shoes
Appendix 2. Leak of the Ernst & Young report from Nike headquarters (NYT 11/8/97)

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