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Celebrating Mandela

special-eventAs part of CUPE Local 79’s celebrations for Black History Month 2014, we held an event in partnership with CUPE Local 4400 and the City of Toronto, to honour the life of the late Nelson Mandela by reflecting on his extraordinary life.

We believe it was both important and appropriate to reflect on the life of this extraordinary man, who was the hero of his country’s anti-apartheid struggle and became a global symbol for the fight against racism.

Affectionately known throughout South Africa as Madiba, he dedicated his life to ensuring that South Africa became a nation free from racial division. He won the Nobel peace prize along with the last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk in 1993 for their negotiations to end apartheid.

As the first democratically-elected President of South Africa, Madiba introduced a new constitution and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past abuses of human rights. He also reformed land ownership, improved healthcare and battled poverty.

Madiba was seen not only as the father of his nation, but as a man who spent a significant part of his life trying to make the world a better place.

Several guest speakers shared their unique experiences and contact with Madiba, and related how he touched their lives directly. The event, which was hosted by the Local 79 Human Rights Committee, was a huge success and the audience were also treated to unique photographs and a video clip of his first visit to Toronto in 1990.

 

 

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