A memorial for former South African President Nelson Mandela has been set for 3-5 p.m. Saturday, December 14 at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley main campus, near the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way.
Mandela, the global human rights icon who served 27 years in prison and helped end apartheid in his country, died December 5 at age 95 after suffering from recurring lung problems.
Mandela held a special place in the hearts and minds of LGBT rights activists for many reasons, chief among them was his work in drafting South Africa’s new constitution that included protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
He served as South Africa’s president from 1994 to 1999. In 1993, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former South African President F.W. de Klerk.
Speakers at the Berkeley memorial will include gay California Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. The event will also include music from the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and will end with a candlelight vigil.
In the 1980s, UC Berkeley was the site of the campus divestment movement, where hundreds protested the university’s investments in corporations and banks doing business with the apartheid regime.