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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

More grey areas than just black and white in history?
2017-12-15


Description: Abraham Mlombo readmore Tags: Historic, historian, International Studies Group, ISG  

Dr Abraham Mlombo: As a historian, he draws energy
from the people surrounding him.
Photo: Charl Devenish


 

Very few people understand that their actions and views within a territory stem from their roots or history. To enlighten the reading man on the composition of his base and the intricacies of the powers that are at play, is the work of historians.

Dr Abraham Mlombo is one of these historians, stationed within the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State (UFS).

This research group consists of postgraduate researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and academic staff that focus on African history, although they depart from more traditional study methods  a more global perspective. To date, Dr Mlombo's research examined the historical relations between South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. It was a broad study of the political, economic, social, and cultural relations from 1923 to 1953. He plans to continue by truly exploring the connections between South Africa and the region, and how they shaped one another. Dr Mlombo's interests in cross-border history and politics were inspired by his master’s degree in Political Science at Stellenbosch University. He researched his PhD at the UFS.

He draws energy for his work from the people surrounding him, and likes to be part of new experiences with people from different backgrounds. He feels such environments shape the way one works, as well as one’s world view. Dr Mlombo hints that sometimes, and specifically in South Africa, people focus very narrowly on their history and forget that many international links are at play. He sees his work as a historian to help open people's horizons.

Dr Mlombo suggests that future research should include a more critical analysis of how things unfolded during the second half of the 20th century. Writings should include more social- and people-oriented history, because he thinks there are more grey areas than just black and white. Many more interrogations must also follow into the assumptions of historical events and the individuals who played the greatest roles in Southern Africa.

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