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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

Africa still yearns for democracy says academic
2009-05-26

Leading academic Prof Achille Mbembe (pictured), says that in spite of substantial changes the African continent is still yearning for democracy.

Prof Mbembe was delivering a lecture commemorating Africa Day at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

He said many Africans feel that democracy and the law, including the paramount law – the constitution itself - have betrayed them.

“Many have a feeling that they have not yet lived fully or fulfilled their lives, that they might not or might never fulfill their lives.”

Prof Mbembe, who originates from Cameroon and has been living in South Africa for nine years , said that what struck him about this country in this democratic era was that many people are still yearning for a return to the past.

He said many black South Africans know that the advent of democracy has not provided them with the kind of life they hoped for.

“If anything, democracy has rendered life even more complex than before,” he said.

“South Africa is still a nation where too many black people possess almost nothing.

“Real freedom means freedom from race,” he said. “The kind of freedom that South Africa is likely to enjoy because this nation will have built a society, a culture and a civilization in which the colour of one’s skin will be superfluous in the overall calculus of dignity, opportunity, rights and obligations,” Prof Mbembe said.

“This freedom will originate, purely and simply, from our being human.”

Prof Mbembe is currently a Research Professor in History and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand in the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. He has written extensively on African history and politics.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
26 May 2009
 

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