On the 9th of August 1956, former South African anti-apartheid activist, Sophia Williams de Bruyn, alongside Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Rahima Moosa, led over 20 000 women of all races to the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950.
59 years later, Williams de Bruyn is the only surviving leader of the historic event. The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Women in Community Engagement Empowerment Projects (UJ WiCEEP) will host its annual Woman’s month event, at which the icon will be the guest speaker, on Tuesday, 25 August 2015.
“We are very excited to have Auntie Sophie, as she is affectionately known, share the happenings from the 1956 women’s march. She will also touch on the current women leadership issues,” says UJ CE manager, Ms Ernestine Meyer-Adams.
Under the theme Women Leadership in Service to the Community, the University will also honour community builder, Mrs Florrie Daniels, whose community projects in Westbury (Johannesburg) and the surrounding areas have made the most impact in the past 60 years. “We try to make every year exceptional in showcasing the leadership in community development and the empowerment of women, Mrs Florrie is exactly that for us. Furthermore, UJ researchers under the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation (CERT) will also be documenting Mrs Daniels’ community work for the Community Library archives.”
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UJ will also honour the life and work of Helen Joseph at the annual The Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture, hosted by UJ’s Faculty of Humanities and the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA). The lecture will be taking place on Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 17:30 at the Council Chambers, Madibeng Building at the UJ Auckland Park Kingsway campus.