Statement From Steven Del Duca on Nelson Mandela Day

Today we reflect on the life, the work, and the legacy of former President of South Africa, anti-apartheid fighter, and political icon Nelson Mandela. On what would have been his 102nd birthday, we celebrate his work and his contributions to equality in South Africa and around the world. 

Born into the oppression of South African Apartheid, Nelson Mandela spent his life opposing the injustice of discrimination, and spent nearly three decades incarcerated as a political prisoner. He continued to lead the anti-Apartheid movement during his imprisonment, becoming a symbol of the fight in the process. 

Freed in 1990, he was instrumental in dismantling the system of Apartheid, and building a democracy in South Africa in the early 1990’s. In 1994, he was elected president in his country’s first multi-racial elections, becoming the first Black president of South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, in recognition of his efforts to promote civil rights. 

Mandela taught us to stand up and fight for equality and justice, and we still have much work to live up to those ideals in Ontario and around the world. The worldwide movement against racism is based on the same values that Mandela fought for. 

Today, let’s all take a moment and celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and recommit ourselves to the struggle for freedom and racial justice, at home and all over the world, and build a future of equality and justice for all.

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