Celebrate Mandela Day: 67 Minutes of Service for 67 Years of Struggle

Nelson Mandela's birthday is a worldwide day of service and observance. How will you honor Mandela's legacy today?

Posted: 07/17/2012 09:52 PM EDT
Nelson Mandela

(Photo: REUTERS/Omar Macia)

Today in South Africa, people across the country will be commemorating the 94th birthday of the country’s first Black president and internationally renowned human rights activist, Nelson Mandela. But while South Africans are sure to catch the birthday spirit, the rest of the world is also being called on to jump into action and honor the leader's legacy through community service on Nelson Mandela International Day.


Mandela stands alone as the most internationally recognized African leader and is best known for his fearless work in toppling South Africa’s oppressive and racist apartheid regime.


President Obama released a statement ahead of Mandela’s birthday highlighting the African leader’s extraordinarily inspiring life of struggle in the name of public service.


“Nelson Mandela’s personal story is one of unbreakable will, unwavering integrity and abiding humility. On a personal note, our family has been inspired by Madiba’s example, and has deeply appreciated the time we have spent with him, and his wisdom, grace and generosity of spirit. By any measure, Nelson Mandela has changed the arc of history, transforming his country, continent, and the world,” Obama said in the statement.


After Mandela hit age 90, 192 United Nations member states banded together to mark July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day and encourage acts of public service. As a symbol of the 67 years Mandela spent in public service, the Mandela Day campaign asks everyone to spend 67 minutes of his or her time in community service each July 18.


How will you spend your 67 minutes?


Get more information about Nelson Mandela and Nelson Mandela International Day here.


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