Community leaders from various religious and civic organizations came together on Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College to celebrate the life and legacy of former South African President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, “Madiba.”
The citywide memorial service was an opportunity for members of the Atlanta community to join the South African community and the world in remembering a global leader who embodied peace, transformation and reconciliation.
Among the confirmed speakers were:
The Soweto Street Beat and Drummers for Peace and the Morehouse College Glee Club also performed.
“While South Africans in Soweto, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and around the world celebrate the life and legacy of Mandela, it is only fitting that Atlantans also join in those celebrations in our own way,” said Shantal Palmer, one of the event organizers.
Lawrence E. Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, said, “Mandela reminded us that although we have the machinery of war, it is only by our nonviolent choices that we can create the machinery of peace. Like a great Atlas he endured the mountainous burden of apartheid tyranny for 27 years with malice toward none, and unconditional love for all.”
“We are happy and honored to co-sponsor this very important tribute to Nelson Mandela in Atlanta,” said Cedric Suzman, executive vice president and director of programming at the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. “I can’t think of a more appropriate endeavor at this monumental time in history.”
The World Affairs Council of Atlanta is a non-partisan, membership, and grant-supported organization whose mission is to provide a forum for dialogue, a source of expertise, and an engine for research on international affairs and global issues that impact the corporate community, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the general public.
The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College seeks to develop, promote and accomplish clergy, laity and youth awakening through reconciliation, non-violence, science, spirituality and the building of global communities of hope. It is these beloved communities that live out divine promises of unity and peace. The Chapel is the world’s most prominent living religious memorial to alumnus Martin Luther King Jr., Morehouse class of 1948.