University Celebrates Legacy of Nelson Mandela During Black History Month

The legacy of Nelson Mandela – a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, activist, lawyer and philanthropist who served as president of South Africa from 1994-1999, will be honored at Saint Peter’s University during Black History Month events in February. Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.

“The struggles and successes that should be celebrated not only during Black History Month, but all 12 months of the year, are much broader than the issues in the United States we traditionally examine during this month,” said David Surrey, Ph.D., director of Africana studies. “The collective of groups who share in the responsibility for Black History Month at the University felt if the movement was associated with Nelson Mandela, it would be a way to celebrate a greater breadth of activities.”

Mandela was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation.

The following events will be held in commemoration of Mandela and Black History Month.

On February 3, a flag raising ceremony will be held at the flag pole by the bridge at 12:00 p.m.

On February 5, guest speaker Stephanie Urdang will discuss “Nelson Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom Against Apartheid” in Pope Lecture Hall from 1:00-2:00 p.m.

On February 11, the film “Fair Tomatoes” will be screened followed by a discussion in Pope Lecture Hall from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

On February 19, guest speaker Rosalie Riegle will discuss “The Heritage of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nonviolent Resistance to War” from 11:00-11:50 a.m. in conference room 527 in the North Room of The Duncan Family Sky Room in the Mac Mahon Student Center; and at 7:00 p.m., “Relationship 101” will be held in McIntyre Lounge.

On February 20, during the Pizza and Politics program, the film “Reconciliation in South Africa” will be screened followed by a discussion moderated by Dwayne Paul, assistant director of campus ministry for community service, in the Emeritus Room from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

On February 24, the Jubilation Choir, an internationally acclaimed choir of culturally mixed voices singing African American sacred music with an emphasis on Gospel music, will perform in St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church at 7:30 p.m.

On February 26, the film “16th Man: The True Story of the Integration of the South African Rugby Team” will be screened followed by a discussion from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (location to be announced).

Sponsors for these events are Africana studies, BAC, campus ministry, EOF, FOCUS, HSA, LASO, Latin American/Latino studies, the political science department, PRIDE, the public policy program, student activities, the sociology/urban studies department and club, SOCA, the social justice program, Voices of Praise and women’s studies.

For more information, contact David S. Surrey, Ph.D., director of Africana studies, at