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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. 

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Multitudes celebrate dr Beyers Naude's selfless life
2013-09-14

26 September 2013

The lecture was held in partnership with the diverse churches, the youth, the house of traditional leadership. The theme was Love for Humanity.

In his special message to the gathered religious leaders, students and staff, Apostle Saki Thapong, challenged all in attendance to “look for your own miracles within yourself.”

“We need a generation of miracles and not a generation of people running after miracles”, said Apostle Thapong.

“Allow your miracle to manifest itself within you and never look at your own miracle through your own time, but through God's time and purpose”, Pastor Thapong said.

In focusing on the choice of the theme, Vice-Rector: External Affairs, Dr Choice Makhetha, said that the theme was very important to all stakeholders who needed to pledge their commitment to building a community of people who care deeply about the safety of its children and senior citizens.

“As stakeholders in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, we need to collectively build a society courageous enough to dirty its hands to shape the socio-economic development of this area, for the benefit of the local people, the country and the world. We must build a community of people who work tirelessly to ensure that the dignity of every human being is restored and protected, especially women,” said Dr Makhetha.

Previous speakers in the series include, Dr Allan Boesak, Prof Kwandiwe Kondlo, Dr Frank Chikane, Mr Johann Naude (Dr Naude's son) and Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Dr Beyers Naude was an ordained minister in the Dutch Reformed Church who stood against apartheid despite his advantaged Afrikaner background. In the aftermath of the Sharpeville Massacre of March 1960, 'Oom Bey' started questioning the morality of the government's policies. At the time of his passing away in September 2004, he was described as a “true humanitarian and true son of Africa” by Nelson Mandela.

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