Joseph Ross: Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Forgiveness & Reconciliation

Photo taken by Joseph Ross
Photo taken by Joseph Ross
“Nelson Mandela is a hero to me. Back in 1985, in graduate school at the University of Notre Dame, I was part of the Anti-Apartheid Network, a student group opposed to South Africa’s policy of racial separation. We were part of the international movement, largely of college students, urging divestment from firms doing business in South Africa. Mandela himself, after becoming president, said the divestment movement played a key role in bringing down the apartheid government. At Notre Dame, we used to gather every Friday at noon on the Main Building’s steps. We learned about the week’s events in South Africa from Professor Peter Walshe, a South African teaching at Notre Dame. I also became friends with Rev. Malusi Mpumlwana, a South African Anglican priest studying at Notre Dame. Malusi developed my understanding of systemic violence in ways no book could have taught me. I learned a great deal from him over endless cups of coffee and loud laughter. We students were somewhat naive, but we brought a passion to the divestment cause. It was my first experience in such a political movement and I learned a great deal about my own responsibility for those who suffer around the world. The lessons I learned from Malusi and others in the Anti-Apartheid movement guide me still. …”–Joseph Ross

Read Joe’s whole blog post.

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