Sarah Hager, Chair of the Southern Africa Co-Group, contributed to this post.
A few hours ago, the world learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela. There are few people in the world who inspired so much reverence and devotion. Through all he did to advance human rights issues, Mandela became a living symbol of love and forgiveness, perseverance and redemption.
Mandela’s courage helped change our entire world. His life of political struggle and self-sacrifice became, and remains, an example to millions around the globe. His name is now synonymous with the struggle of people everywhere for freedom, equality and justice and is a reminder that we must stay determined to confront injustice.
[pullquote text=”Even though he is gone, what he stood for is eternal. He will continue to serve as a symbol and an inspiration and galvanize activists.”]Mandela inspired activists the world over. He united people from all walks of life around a common good and his connection with Amnesty runs deep. In November 2006, we declared him an ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ in recognition of his work over many years of speaking out against human rights abuses around the world. Throughout his life, Mandela’s actions shaped the human rights movement as a whole and they will continue to inspire our work.
Tonight and in the days and weeks to come, we will all mourn the less of Nelson Mandela. But even though he is gone, what he stood for is eternal. His legacy will stand for generations. He will continue to serve as a symbol and an inspiration and galvanize activists to take injustice personally.
The greatest way we can honor him is to raise our voices to expose injustice, demand freedom for those unjustly imprisoned and value the rights of all people. Let Madiba inspire you. Take action for human rights and continue his work.