University of Washington

The Jackson School remembers Nelson Mandela


The African Studies Program and the Jackson School of International Studies join the world in mourning the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Mandela will be remembered as one of the towering figures of the 20th century. An activist, soldier and intellectual who survived tuberculosis and hard labor during 27 years of imprisonment, he led the African National Congress through constitutional negotiations to end the formal system of racial oppression known as apartheid. Mandela will be rightfully recognized for his role in negotiating a transition to democracy that avoided a civil war, and for crafting a future for South Africa that included all its citizens. South Africans will also remember him as a visionary who always yielded to the collective leadership of the anti-apartheid movement, and who understood his fate as inextricably tied to that of the South African people. Beyond South Africa’s borders, Mandela became an icon of liberation movements around the globe, as well as a forceful advocate of human rights. In the midst of the public remembrances over the coming days and weeks, we as educators call for people everywhere to search beyond the headlines to learn more about this remarkable and inspirational man, his history, and his political commitments, in order to understand not just his impact but also the ongoing struggles for justice to which he dedicated his life.

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