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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS hosts YSI for first conference of its kind in Africa
2017-06-13

Description: UFS hosts YSI  Tags: UFS hosts YSI

From the left: Bryson Nkhoma, a doctoral student from
the International Studies Group, Prof Francis Petersen,
Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, and
Dr Tinashe Nyamunda, a postdoctoral fellow from the
International Studies Group.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

In the first conference of its kind on the African continent, the University of the Free State’s Bloemfontein Campus was privileged to host the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) conference.

Reflecting on the African experience

A total of 65 young and senior scholars from five continents attended the conference Decolonising Africa? The Economic History of Development, hosted by the YSI in partnership with the International Studies Group at the UFS.

The conference, held on 8 and 9 June 2017, provided an opportunity to reflect on the African experience from an historical perspective and to assess the current position of the continent in the global economy. It discussed new themes in development, such as the role of women, minorities and entrepreneurs.

The conference focused on how the business community has operated in an Africa that still faces inequalities and unfair terms of trade and lacks a unified political will.

Keynote speakers at conference

Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said decolonisation was not self-explanatory. “In its radical form, decolonisation presents two polar opposites. On the one side is white privilege and on the other is black pain.”

Prof Ian Phimister, Senior Research Professor at the Centre for Africa Studies at the UFS presented the opening keynote address entitled International Imperialism: The Violent Making of Southern Africa, 1884-1914.

Other keynote speakers included Prof Sabelo Ndlovu Gatsheni from the University of Pretoria, Prof Gareth Austin from the University of Cambridge, and the closing keynote by Prof Alois Mlambo from the University of Pretoria.

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