CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement celebrating the life and work of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013):
I was saddened to hear the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing but grateful for the magnificent presence of this freedom fighter for justice and peace. He was a visionary who inspired a nation and world.
Like many social justice advocates, I became engaged in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s as I became aware of the injustices occurring in South Africa and was moved by Mandela’s servant leadership. When Mandela took his thank-you tour across America, I traveled to Detroit with many other Chicagoans to witness this powerful and prophetic leader. The South Africa divestment movement to oppose apartheid was my template for Illinois’ 2005 Sudan divestment law.
Nelson Mandela was truly a profile in courage, commitment and character. His great moral center, anchored in hope and love, gave him the power not only to stand against injustice but to shower his enemies with forgiveness. His luminous spirit lives on in the men and women throughout the world who continue his work for social justice and peace .