Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela describes herself as an engaged global citizen. From 1996–2003 she served on the Human Rights Violation Committee of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission as coordinator of public hearings in the Western Cape. She facilitated private encounters between perpetrators of gross human rights violations and their victims. From this experience she focused her research on the role of forgiveness in the aftermath of mass trauma and violence.
In 2000, she was featured in the award-winning documentary Long Night’s Journey into Day, which chronicles four post-Apartheid hearings brought before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Her first book A Human Being Died That Night: A Story of Forgiveness (2003) earned her the Alan Paton Award in 2004 and the Christopher Award for non-fiction in 2004. She is co-author of Narrating our Healing: Perspectives on Healing Trauma (2007), and co-editor of Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past (2009).
Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela is a recipient of the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award at Tufts University (2001) for her insights on transitional justice, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award (2007) for her significant contributions to society, and honoured among “100 People Who Made a Difference” in the Permanent Exhibit of Hall of Heroes in the National Freedom Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio (2005). She was nominated for the Reconciliation Award in South Africa (2004) and the Best Woman of the Year in the education category in South Africa (2004).
She has been involved in many socially responsible projects and serves on the boards of national and international non-profit organizations. She travels internationally lecturing on the relationship between trauma and forgiveness, and her opinion pieces have appeared in national newspapers, such as The Mail & Guardian, The Cape Times, The New York Times, and The L.A. Times.
Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela completed her undergraduate degree in social work and honors degree in psychology at Fort Hare University, her M.A. in clinical psychology at Rhodes University, and her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Cape Town. She holds an honourary Doctor of Law from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is currently professor of psychology at the University of Cape Town.
-- Bio of Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela as published in the 2010 Sol Kanee Program. Click here to view the 2010 Sol Kanee Poster.
The 2010 Sol Kanee Lecture for Peace and Justice took place Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela presented on the topic of "Narratives of Dialogue and Healing: Stories of Remorse and Forgiveness in the Aftermath of Mass Trauma and Violence."
The transcript of the lecture can be found here: 2010 Sol Kanee Lecture transcript