Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman is the 2021 Social Justice Champion
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Johannesburg - Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman has been named the Social Justice Champion for 2021 at the third annual social justice summit and international conference.
The summit, which is held annually, aims to reflect on the state of social justice in South Africa. This year it focused on economic equality, the impact of Covid-19 regulatory responses, the adequacy of current policy frameworks for rebuilding better and restitution and the impact of economic inequality on peace and the rule of law.
Nominations for the gong of Social Justice Champion closed on Sunday and Sooliman was named the winner earlier on Tuesday.
The organisers said a social justice champion was a person who had “moved the needle consistently in 2021 to advance equality and reduce poverty, a person who has shown a commitment to justice as justice for all, while galvanising others to pull together in a socially cohesive manner”.
They said the person should show qualities of being just and fair, and an ability to distribute resources, benefits, privileges in society. “This finds expression in the equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms by all.
“At the core of social justice is embracing the humanity in every person so that nobody should find it harder than others to exist in society, and nobody should bear more burdens than others,” said the organisers.
Sooliman was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday, but the Gift of the Givers marked the announcement of Sooliman as the Social Justice Champion with a one character tweet - an emoji of a green heart.
The Gift of the Givers have been assisting thousands in South Africa with food and medical supplies since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
They have also been assisting at public hospitals around the country, drilling boreholes and assisting health workers and communities during the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Gift of the Givers were in a Western Cape community after being called by the Western Cape Disaster Management Team to assist after a devastating fire ripped through an informal settlement.
Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay said they would be in the community for the next three days to provide assistance such as hot meals, clothing and making arrangements for shelter for those affected.