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Happy 92nd Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

By Emily Riemer

Happy birthday to the father of post-Apartheid South Africa.

On Sunday, July 18th, Nelson Mandela turned 92. The South African leader andNobel Peace Prize winner, who had been imprisoned for 27 years and was the first South African president to be elected in multi-racial elections post-Apartheid, celebrated a happy 92nd birthday. His vision for peace and unity for his country inspires the world to this day, encouraging us to never give up hope that we will see the end to injustice, poverty and oppression on a global scale.

This year, the birthday also marks the second annual Nelson Mandela Day, established by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on July 18, 2009, and enacted as an international holiday through a unanimous vote of the UN General Assembly last November 2009. The day is an extension of Mandela’s 46664 Campaign, an initiative named after his Robben Island prison number, launched to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. Expanded from this campaign, Mandela Day champions Mandela’s humanitarian work and is described by mandeladay.com as: “a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual ability to make an imprint and change the world around them.”

In honor of Madiba’s 67 years of work for human rights, Mandela Day calls upon people all over the world to donate 67 minutes of their time in the service of a charitable organization or their local community. Do something that reflects the leader’s dedication to equality, democracy, respect and freedom.

So what did you do with your 67 minutes? Tell us in the comment field below.

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