Today, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism, an annual international campaign that will take us up to Human Rights Day, on 10 December.
In years past, we have participated in the 16 Days by profiling activists associated with the Shiloh Project. This year, we want to give updates on, and to celebrate some of our activists’ recent achievements. The inspiration they provide remains vital at a time when moods are dampened, and progress often hampered, by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and by the sheer scale of the work yet to be done.
Today we celebrate Musa Wenkosi Dube. Musa launched our 16 Days series in 2018. Musa is Professor of New Testament studies. She has spent much of her illustrious career at the University of Botswana and has recently been appointed to a post at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University (USA). Integral to Musa’s scholarship is her commitment to activism, and she has done much to challenge and to redress social inequalities. You can read about her important activism and scholarship, in particular her promotion of the rights of women and of persons affected by HIV and AIDS, in her article ‘On Becoming a Change Agent’, available open access (JIBS 2/1 2020, 13–28).
Today, we want to congratulate Musa on being elected the incoming President for the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). SBL is the oldest and by far largest learned society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible. This is a huge and well-deserved honour. We are thrilled.
Musa reports that for now she is ‘struck to silence’. Ever the New Testament scholar, she adds, ‘Now I understand what was happening to the father of John the Baptist, who remained mute at the news of an unexpected child.’
We know full well that when Musa regains her strong and beautiful voice, much wisdom will flow forth. We can’t wait to hear her presidential address. Big congratulations, Musa!