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Featured Program:
Honoring Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

This Program offers select resources and materials which can be used for individual and group study. Examining Mandela's life and journey is a starting point for a discussion about leadership, nonviolence, and conflict resolution. How can we integrate our courage, strength, and commitment to peaceful change in order to be of service in "turning the global tide"?

Mid-Season Salon: Work as an individual, or gather a group of friends, to read and discuss these basic materials. Use the Submit Event form to let us know you are participating and you will be notified of a telephone/skype event later in the Season which will unite all participants in this program. Join as a group in your living room or center, or attend as an individual. A guest Mentor with expertise on Mandela's journey will lead the salon. Experience this "omni-local" conversation!



Born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, Nelson Mandela led a decades-long struggle against the oppressive restrictions of apartheid in South Africa. Released from prison in 1990 after spending 27 in years in jail, he was elected the country's first black president in 1994. He retired from politics in 1999, but always remained a global advocate for peace and social justice. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.The life and legacy of the man known to his fellow South Africans and the world as "Madiba" is an inspiration for all those seeking a world that works for everyone. Read more.

Download PDF with Synopsis / Bio.



For more details and great stories about his life, there is an excellent detailed Nelson Mandela biography at Biography.com

You can find more about Nelson Mandela at the Official Nelson Mandela Foundation Website


Download this file to print or keep a copy.




Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About






In the desire to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life — an iconic figure who triumphed over South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime — it’s tempting to homogenize his views into something everyone can support. This is not, however, an accurate representation of the man.
Mandela was a political activist and agitator. He did not shy away from controversy and he did not seek — or obtain — universal approval. Before and after his release from prison, he embraced an unabashedly progressive and provocative platform. As one commentator put it shortly after the announcement of the freedom fighter’s death, “Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.”

As the world remembers Mandela, here are some of the things he believed that many will gloss over.



Ubuntu is a beautiful — and old — concept. According to Wikipedia, at its most basic, Ubuntu can be translated as “human kindness,” but its meaning is much bigger in scope than that — it embodies the ideas of connection, community, and mutual caring for all. Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee (watch her TED Talk) once defined using slightly different words than Varty: “I am what I am because of who we all are." Nelson Mandela explains Ubuntu in this short video.

Interested in hearing more? Read more and check out these sources.




Here are photos, files and artwork you can use to put together fliers, postcards, and other materials related to Nelson Mandela. View in new page or Download collection as Zip File (5 mB)




Some videos to inspire and illuminate the life of Nelson Mandela, and give you a better understanding of the man, the times, and how his life can inspire spiritual activism. The video above is Homage from the Dalai Lama. See more here.




For further research the life and times of Nelson Mandela, there are many good resources

• The History Channel has a slideshow timeline of Mandela's life, as well as videos and audio clips, including one from the day he was released from prison.

• NPR's Nelson Mandela: An Audio History is an hourlong radio show, produced in 2004, told through the voices of people who experienced apartheid, including Mandela himself. NPR also published a collection of news coverage, videosand photos related to Mandela.

• CNN has a "fast facts" timeline of Mandela's life,

• On the BBC's website, there's a "teacher resources" page devoted to Mandela, including an online quiz, photos, and a student-friendly presentation of the facts.

• PBS' Frontline released a two-hour program entitled "The Long Walk to Freedom" in 1999. They also have a teachers' guide. with historical background and discussion questions with goals such as showing how "individuals can take small actions that can make a difference in the area of social justice", and "to consider how fear affects our behavior and can affect our ability to resolve conflicts".

• Biography.com has another great study guide for students. Download Nelson Mandela Study Guide as PDF