Beverly Hills, California (PRWEB) June 28, 2013
Nelson Mandela, the preeminent leader of the revolutionary South African anti-apartheid movement, will celebrate his 95th birthday on July 18, 2013. This day has been officially recognized by the United Nations as ‘Nelson Mandela Day.’ Civic Duty and its co-founders, Dr. Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi, encourage everyone around the world to seize this opportunity and practice the values of Nelson Mandela – Take Action, Inspire Change and Make Every Day a Mandela Day.
Nelson Mandela has spent 67 years of his life fighting for human rights. On ‘Nelson Mandela Day’ we are asked to take 67 minutes of our life to give back to the community. Dr. Michael Omidi says, “It doesn’t matter whether you decide to support a charity or help a neighbor. The objective of Nelson Mandela Day is to try and change the world for the better.”
As a young law student, Nelson Mandela rose to influence within the African National Congress Youth League in the in 1950’s leading boycotts and strikes against the openly racist apartheid laws of the South African government. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning ‘the state of being apart.’ Under these cruel and oppressive laws, racial segregation was strictly enforced by the openly racist National Party which ruled South Africa under ‘whites only’ elections from 1948 to 1994. Apartheid was a vicious and violent social system in which the majority of black Africans were denied basic human rights and legislation was created to protect white supremacy and minority rule.
Nelson Mandela fought valiantly against apartheid until he was ultimately arrested in 1962 and charged with sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the South African government. He was given a life sentence and held in captivity in a remote maximum security prison on Robben Island. Mandela remained there for the next 18 years in a damp eight foot by seven foot cell. Days were spent breaking rocks into gravel and he was permitted only one visit and one letter every six months.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, intense pressure from international sanctions and a new government in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was finally released in 1990. Mandela went on to become the first black South African president elected in a fully representative election in which all eligible voters participated. The Mandela government tore down the institutionalized racial barriers of apartheid and fought for freedom and equality for all regardless of race, religion or heritage.
The courageous, selfless and inspirational life and work of Nelson Mandela has inspired the world. Nelson Mandela has said, "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." To learn more about Nelson Mandela, Julian Omidi suggests reading his book, ‘Conversations with Myself.” The book has been published in 22 editions and 20 languages and explores his political career and the 27 years he was imprisoned before leading South Africa to embrace freedom.
Nelson Mandela said in 2008, “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.” These words are what led the U.N. to declare July 18th as ‘Nelson Mandela Day.’ To honor ‘Nelson Mandela Day,’ Civic Duty will make a donation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. We hope that you will do your civic duty on July 18th - Take Action, Inspire Change and Make Every Day a Mandela Day.
MORE ABOUT THE NELSON MANDELA FOUNDATION
The mission of the Nelson Mandela Foundation (http://www.nelsonmandela.org) is to contribute to the making of a just society by keeping alive the legacy of Nelson Mandela, providing an integrated public information resource on his life and times, and by convening dialogue around critical social issues. The Nelson Mandela Foundation seeks a society which remembers its pasts, listens to all its voices, and pursues social justice.
Civic Duty (http://www.civicduty.org) is dedicated to mankind’s search for meaning and promotes the values of its founders, philanthropists Julian Omidi and his brother Dr. Michael Omidi. The charity’s mission is to inspire creative outreach, community service, and volunteerism through the stories of every-day people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.” To get involved and help make a difference, send us a message using the website’s Contact Us function. More information about Civic Duty can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.