40 years after the end of formal European colonialism in Africa (1974), 20 years after the end of apartheid (1994), and 6 years into Barack Obama’s  presidency:



A Conference and Call for Presentations on

Social Struggle and Faith-Based Activism

in “Black Empowerment” Times

July 10-16, 2014

University of South Africa, Pretoria


The 2014 conference theme continues TRRR’s emphasis on enduring social struggle as a feature of uneven social progress throughout the transatlantic region, as characterized by: (1) sharp educational and economic disparities across racial, social class, and national lines; (2) oppression and abuse of women; (3) sexual and war-related exploitation of children; (4) internecine violence and conflict between population groups already facing steep economic and political development challenges; (5) mass incarceration and social marginalization of low-income youth; and (6) leadership sectors whose policies and practices too often are at variance with the social urgencies of the day.  We welcome “best-practices” presentations as well as conceptual and applied scholarly papers that explore these or related themes—emphasizing the role of the faith sector. 

Please submit 150-250 word abstracts by Jan. 30, 2014 to Dr. R. Drew Smith (Pittsburgh Theo. Seminary) rsmith@pts.edu, and to the 2014 host-co-conveners: Dr. Relebohile Moletsane (Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal) moletsaner@ukzn.ac.za; and Dr. Rothney Tshaka tshakrs@unisa.ac.za.


Diepsloot    Conference components on July 10-13 will revolve around immersion activities, including July 10 visits to local schools in Diesploot (an “informal settlement” near Pretoria),  a day-long consultative dialogue on July 12 with community leaders in the settlement, and Sunday worship on July 13 at a Diepsloot congregation .  Activities in Diepsloot will be facilitated in conjunction with the “Voice and Voicelessness Project” based at UNISA, and with a community organiziation in Diepsloot called “A Chance to Advance Program.”

SowetoSign2  As part of the conference immersion activities, visits also will be made to the historic township of Soweto, where on June 16, 1976 hundreds of school children were massacred by government security forces during a mass student protest against the government’s apartheid-style educational policies.  Visits will be made to institutional repositories of this history, the Hector Pieterson Museum located in Soweto and the Apartheid Museum located adjacent to Soweto.

Unisa   The formal conference opening and conference panels begin on July 14 at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and will continue through July 16. 


Conference Schedule

July 10 and 11: (immersion activities): including school visits in Diepsloot; visits to sites of significance in Soweto; and visit to the Apartheid Museum

July 12: Daylong consultative dialogue in Diepsloot with local community leaders (separate registration required). Registration (includes lunch).

July 13: Worship in Diepsloot

July 14: Formal conference opening and conference panels (UNISA)

July 15: Conference panels continued (UNISA)

July 16: Conference panels and Closing  (UNISA)


2014 Conference Host Committee

Professor Relebohile Moletsane (UKZN), 2014 host co-convener
Professor Rothney Tshaka (UNISA), 2014 host co-convener
Professor R. Drew Smith (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary), co-convener
Dr. William Ackah (University of London), co-convener
Professor Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu (Trinity Seminary), co-convener
Professor Mokhele Madise (Voice & Voicelessness, UNISA), host committee member
Mr. Itumeleng Mothoagae (Voice & Voicelessness, UNISA), host committee member
Dr. Raymond Kumalo (UKZN), host committee member
Professor Madipoane Masenya (UNISA), host committee member
Dr. Vuyani Vellem (University of Pretoria), host committee member
Dr. Iva Carruthers (Proctor Conference, USA), host committee member
Dr. Genevieve James (A Chance to Advance, UNISA), host committee member

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Drop us a line!

Get in touch with us!