Soul City Institute launches the Feminist Leadership and Activism Centre (FLAC)

The centre will disrupt and transform multiple levels of oppression through feminist theorising that builds on generations of African feminist movement-building strategies and decolonial scholarship.

The Soul City Institute of Social Justice is proud to announce the Feminist Leadership and Activism Centre (FLAC), a learning and co-creation space that promotes a decolonial feminist consciousness, and welcomes the inaugural class on 1 August, the first day of Women’s Month.

FLAC is born out of the urgency to create a generation of young feminists by providing education as a communal space of learning, sharing and connection that aims to explore social realities that affect the quality of women’s lives.

The centre is inspired by our new radicalised vision that acknowledges that “the empowerment” of young women and girls does not go far enough to achieve gender equity but putting intersectional feminism at the forefront of movement building ensures a just world for all girls and women.

FLAC will disrupt and transform multiple levels of oppression through feminist theorising that builds on generations of African feminist movement-building strategies and decolonial scholarship to build theory and practice. It is through this lens that the centre seeks to honour indigenous ways of reinventing and reimaging social and political realities and feminist futures.

South Africa is overcome by patriarchal systems that manifest themselves in various ways, including gender-based violence and femicide; sexual and reproductive violence and injustice; unequal opportunities and pay for girls and women and the all-encompassing intersectionalities of race, and class and gender inequalities that black women continue to bear.

FLAC is catalysed by the understanding that things will not shift unless every individual and sector of society plays a part in dismantling patriarchy. The centre is one of our contributions and interventions disrupting patriarchy, by providing education as a communal space of learning, sharing and connection that aims to explore social realities that affect the quality of women’s lives.

"Just like the monumental It’s a Feminist Thing talk show in 2020, FLAC is our latest flagship programme that cements Soul City Institute's feminist agenda. The strategic decision to start the centre is to support young women through capacity building, mentorship and resourcing to increase the feminist movement across South Africa,” the CEO of Soul City Institute explains.

“Through FLAC, feminist consciousness will be built, resources will be put in the hands of young women to enable them to lead their activism, advance their human rights and build solidarity that brings the needed social change in their communities and across South Africa.”

After an overwhelming number of applicants, the Institute has selected the inaugural class of FLAC participants consisting of 20 young women between the ages of 19 and 25 years from all nine provinces. Participants will learn through modules that are each strategically crafted to equip participants with the knowledge to challenge and disrupt patriarchy in all its forms. The curriculum includes feminist methodologies; personal injustice, trauma and healing; feminist activism and movement building, as well as sexual and reproductive rights.

The modules will be delivered by a renowned group of African feminists and activists, including author and integrative healer Mmatshilo Motsei; gender activist and coach Shireen Motara; women’s rights researcher Lindelwe Nxumalo; feminist researcher and lecturer Yaliwe Clarke and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right Health Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng.

The centre’s participants are at the heart of creating change through education, co-creation and directed social action that disrupts and challenges all forms of structural oppression. The modules are designed to foster a feminist consciousness for participating students by analysing how patriarchy is designed, expressed, manifested, regulated and imposed.

The Soul City Institute conceptualised FLAC with the guidance of an advisory team including feminist academic and activist Simamkele Dlakavu, women’s rights advocate and communications professional Samantha Sibanda and public health specialist and academic Dr Daphney Nozizwe Conco.

Through FLAC, young women will have not only a learning space but also a space for healing, communicating and working creatively and collaboratively to raise their feminist consciousness. The centre will provide space for introspection, reflection, motivation and direction for social change.

The institute has developed FLAC with the intention that it will lead to group cohesion and action as well as a personal and collective feminist consciousness amongst the cohort. We envision a group of young women who are empowered, liberated, and nurtured through decolonial feminist education.

The centre is unapologetically intersectional and promotes indigenous knowledge and practices through an inclusive, participatory, engaging, and experiential approach to teaching and learning.  

Kodisang adds: “We have dedicated the past eight years to working with girls and young women through the Rise Clubs across all provinces. FLAC is our new investment and a further commitment to our vision and mission. We intentionally dismantle the intersecting systems that keep young women subdued and disable them from reaching their full potential and thriving. We want young women to be equipped with the tools and strategies to enable their activism and their futures.”

SCI believes that the launch of FLAC comes at a pivotal moment in South Africa, where there is a collective push for feminist approaches to gender equity and social justice.

 

For media enquiries, contact:

011 771 7973

disruptingpatriarchy@soulcity.org.za

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