Honoring the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick  Photo by Mariah Tauger

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
Photo by Mariah Tauger

On Thursday, January 30, 2014, hundreds of people from around the Commonwealth attended a special event to honor the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela who died December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. The celebration was co-sponsored by Northeastern University’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the School of Law and South African Partners, a Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering partnerships between the United States and South Africa. Prominent leaders, including Governor Deval Patrick, Representative Byron Rushing, and Reverend Nancy Taylor, Minister & CEO of Old South Church, Boston took the time to share their reflections about the inspirational leader,  anti-apartheid icon and the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The 90 minute ceremony included three inspiring performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, video footage of Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and a video collage of Mandela’s visit to Boston just four months after his release from 27-years of imprisonment.

During his remarks, Governor Patrick shared with the audience that, “When I think of Nelson Mandela, a giant of a leader, I keep coming back to love. You don’t hear leaders talk much about leading by love…but it might be that loving leadership is the most powerful leadership.” Rep. Rushing asked the audience, during his remarks, “Can we commemorate ourselves in this legacy of so many? Where do we fit and what do we do? Where do we struggle and what are we ready to sacrifice and to forgive in the legacy of Nelson Mandela?” Lenna Assaf, an AmeriCorps Member of City Year Boston, is an example of someone carrying on the legacy of Mandela. Ms. Assaf is a Team Leader for City Year Boston and works at Orchard Garden’s K-8 pilot school in Roxbury, MA. In her reflections, Assaf shared that, “I serve with City Year to carry on Nelson Mandela’s legacy to live his ideals and to contribute to making this world a better place for all its citizens…while Madiba may be gone, I know he lives within me.”

Original article and photo source:  http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2014/01/mandelaslegacy/#sthash.rK6y31Si.dpuf

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