“Men and women who fight the suppression of the human voice, who fight disease, illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and hunger. Some are known, others are not.
Those are the people who have inspired me.”
– Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was (and still is) the ultimate human rights defender, giving more than 67 years of his life to social justice, and the fundamental rights of his fellow humans.
To celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday, this morning Amnesty International South Africa took as many actions for human rights defenders as possible in… 100 minutes.
The usual ask on Mandela Day – an annual celebration in South Africa on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday – is 67 minutes of service. But we decided to go beyond that this year and make it 100 minutes, in celebration of his centenary.
The call of Mandela Day is for Nelson Mandela’s legacy to inspire each one of us to take action for the rights and dignity of others, thereby inspiring change and a better world for all. Taking injustice personally.
As Barack Obama said yesterday when delivering the 16th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, the current generation and those following are “taking the baton, they know they can’t just rest on the accomplishments of the past, even the accomplishments of those as momentous as Nelson Mandela’s. They stand on the shoulders of those who came before, including that young black boy born 100 years ago, but they know that it is now their turn to do the work.
“Madiba reminds us that: ‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.’
“Love comes more naturally to the human heart, let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on earth so that in 100 years from now, future generations will look back and say, ‘they kept the march going, that’s why we live under new banners of freedom.’”
Let’s be that legacy.
How can you serve today and #BeTheLegacy?
Set aside 100 minutes and sign a petition, or donate to a cause you care about, or contact your local representative about an issue you want to see change. Any act – small or big – personifies Nelson Mandela’s spirit and legacy.
Make a short video (less than 1 minute) of how Nelson Mandela inspires you to #BeTheLegacy.
Share your actions on social media of how Mandela inspired you to #BeTheLegacy. #MandelaDay #Mandela100