July 18, 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of President Nelson Mandela’s Birthday. North Texans will join the world to salute one of history’s most revered human rights activists, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for his efforts to end South African apartheid. Following his release, in South Africa’s first free election, he was voted President of the new democratic country.
In 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 18th as Nelson Mandela International Day.
State Representative Helen Giddings is once again proudly leading the celebratory effort in Texas this year. Giddings said, “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know President Nelson Mandela in 1995. He was indeed larger than life. He was a person of great integrity, honesty, compassion, humility, courage, forgiveness, and selflessness.” Giddings viewed Mandela as the soul of South Africa and a global champion for freedom, dignity, and justice. Nelson Mandela strongly believed that each of us has a moral responsibility and obligation to do what we can to create a better world. He said, "We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference." He left us with the hope and belief that we can make a difference in some way- whether large or small.
Rep. Giddings encourages all Texans to give 100 minutes of service, rather than the original 67 minutes, of volunteer service to others. For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
The annual “Your Service Matters” volunteer event will be held on Saturday, July 21 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM at the North Texas Food Bank located at 4500 S Cockrell Hill Rd., Dallas 75236. Register online at https://ntfb.volunteerhub.com/lp/67minutes/. This organized volunteer opportunity is designed to inspire all people to embrace the values shared by Nelson Mandela.
Giddings, in partnership with the World Affairs Council D/FW, Dallas Museum of Art Arts & Letters Live, the Dallas Morning News, and Trinity (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, will host “The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela” on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 7:30 PM at the Dallas Museum of Art- Horchow Auditorium, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas 75201. Guest speakers include; Sahm Venter, Senior Researcher at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Journalist, and Zamaswazi Dlamini- Mandela, Granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Entrepreneur. For tickets, visit https://www.dma.org/programs/event/celebrating-100th-aniversary-nelson-mandelas-birth.