Edinboro Celebration of Mandela's Life Launches with Speech by N - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Edinboro Celebration of Mandela's Life Launches with Speech by Naomi Tutu

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Edinboro University is honoring the life of anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela's life this week.

The event that kicked off the week's celebrations on Monday - a speech from human rights activist, Naomi Tutu. Tutu was born in South Africa and is daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In her first trip to the Erie area, Naomi spoke to a crowd of more than 500 people, sharing perspective on Nelson Mandela's life and the South African culture.

"Here was someone who was locked away for so long, kept away from his family, and came out determined still to make South Africa a better place," Tutu said in an interview. "That kind of role model is a role model for us in South Africa, but definitely can be a role model for what leadership, courageous leadership, looks like for everyone around the world," she said.

Valerie Hayes, co-chair of Edinboro's Diversity Council, said that the week is to help ensure that although Mandela has died, there is much to learn from his life.

"We want our students to know, and everyone who attends to know, that they are a part of a larger world. So even though apartheid happened in South Africa, we are all connected to what happens in this country and in other places in the world," Hayes said. 

It seems to be a message that got across.

"I think for us, we tend to lack of culture because we are given so many freedoms, we don't think of what everyone else has to go through to get the freedoms that we already have," said Edinboro junior, Dalon Taipond.

"It was really inspiring to hear what he (Mandela) went through her (Tutu's) point of view. I found the wording she used to describe how he humanized even his captors to be very inspiring," said Justin Dasaro, a recent Edinboro grad.

Naomi Tutu also gave the students some life advice.

"When you're in college, you think this is the path that I"m going to be in for the rest of my life. And I'd like to tell them this is the sixth career move for me. Sometimes it's about listening to the spirit and seeing the path that's opening up for you," Tutu said.

Other events this week will include film screenings and panel discussions on human rights... All are free and open to the public. Find a list of the events below or by visiting Edinboro's website.


Tuesday, April 1st, 7pm: screening of the film "Invictus" will be held in Butterfield Hall, Room 134.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 7pm: a panel discussion on the topic of "Rights and Issues Ancillary to Apartheid" will be held in Butterfield Hall, Room 134. A screening of the documentary "The Man Who Drove with Mandela" will follow.

Thursday, April 3rd, 7pm: The panel "Mandela and South Africa as Inspiration for Social Justice and Racial Harmony will be held in Butterfield Hall, Room 134.

Friday, April 4th, 7pm: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela" concludes with a candlelight walk and closing reception. "Celebration of Light: A Candlelight Walk in Honor of Nelson Mandela" will be held rain or shine from 7-8:30 p.m. with participants asked to gather at the Fighting Scot Statue between McComb Fieldhouse and the Pogue Student Center.


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