Tuesday, December 10, 2013

National Minority Aids Council Honors the Legacy of Nelson Mandela

Nelson R. Mandela (1918-2013)

The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Kali Lindsey:

Washington, DC, Dec. 10, 2013 – “Today, the world honored the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.  Known to many simply as Madiba, or father, Mandela embodied not just the struggle of South Africans to free themselves from the shackles of apartheid, but the incredible fortitude of the human spirit.  Despite his years of suffering at the hands of those who denied the dignity and self governance of Black South Africans, Mandela rose to lead the country out of turmoil and inspired the world in the process.  His dedication to social justice and peace was unparalleled and will continue to inspire us as we work to realize his vision.

“As a global advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as an indefatigable opponent to poverty and injustice, NMAC has long admired Mandela and his work.  His struggle and devotion to the underserved and marginalized mirrored our mission to empower people of color and combat the social inequities and health disparities that continue to drive the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the globe.  His light inspired millions to believe that change is possible. And while the world, as well as NMAC mourns his passing, his legacy will continue to illuminate our path toward greater social justice and an end to this epidemic.”


The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) represents a coalition of faith based and community based organizations as well as AIDS service organizations advocating and delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide.  Since 1987, NMAC has developed leadership in communities of color through a variety of advocacy campaigns, public policy education programs, national conferences, research programs, capacity building, technical assistance and trainings, and digital and electronic resource materials. For more information visit www.nmac.org.

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Richard Stengel was Nelson Mandela's friend and collaborator — he co-wrote his autobiography with him, Long Walk to Freedom, and he wrote his own book after the experience, Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage. According to Stengel, Mandela felt he had not caught on and understood the implications of HIV and AIDS for South Africa and Africa. Mandela regretted not having been more active on that front, particularly when his successor, Thabo Mbeki, seemed to take the country even further into the dark ages on that issue. See http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=249570001

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