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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

Kovsies raise their voices to say no to racism – and yes to equality
2015-03-13

SRC President, Mosa Leteane
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

Launch of the No-to-Racism/Yes-to-Equality Campaign : Video 

In support of National Human Rights Month, the UFS has launched the No-to-Racism/Yes-to-Equality Campaign. Through this campaign, the entire UFS community reaffirms its commitment to equality, respect, democracy, social justice, humanity, dignity, human rights, and diversity.

The first leg of the campaign, No-to-Racism, was launched at the Qwaqwa, Bloemfontein and South Campuses during the past month. “Look in the mirror tonight and have a discussion with yourself,” Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, said during the launch at the Bloemfontein Campus. “Ask yourself to what extent can I truly say, ‘I am dealing with my racism, my bigotry, my ethnicism, my homophobia, my xenophobia? Am I truly dealing with those in my life?’”

Through the No-to-Racism Campaign, staff and students are encouraged to take a public stand against not only racism, but also homophobia, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, classism, ethnicism, ageism, and all forms of intolerance and othering.

The start of No-to-Racism will closely be followed by the Yes-to-Equality Campaign, which will be launched on 1 April 2015.

SRC President, Mosa Leteane, urged the Kovsie community to make South Africa work. “We say ‘no’ because we want to say ‘yes’. Fix your ‘no’ so that your ‘yes’ is clear, it’s equal, it’s honest. That is what ‘yes’ looks like.”

The campaign is also aligned with the declaration made by the UFS Council in November 2014 in which it was stated that “the Council of the University of the Free State believes very strongly in the human dignity, equality, and freedom of all people. Accordingly, the Council reaffirms its abhorrence of acts of racism, sexism, and unfair discrimination of any kind or in any form”.
The No-to Racism/Yes-to-Equality Campaign is an initiative of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, together with the SRC.

Important dates:
1 April 2015: Launch of Yes-to-Equality Campaign on the Qwaqwa and Bloemfontein Campuses
13 April 2015: Pledge of the UFS community at 12:45 on the Red Square, Bloemfontein Campus

 

For more information or enquiries contact news@ufs.ac.za.

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