Here on Cultural Exchange, we highlight the incredible work of human rights leaders and innovators like Nelson Mandela. Today, we would like to recognize Nelson Mandela International Day to bring awareness to racial justice. As an organization that is founded by women dedicated to advocating for human rights and raising awareness around social justice issues, we want to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day in full support of racial and social equality around the world.
In 2009, the United Nations declared July 18 to be Nelson Mandela International Day as a global commemoration of solidarity. Mandela was a South African political leader and president focused on racial justice, anti-apartheid activism, and representative government. He was the country’s first Black Head of State and the first to be elected in a multiracial parliamentary election in 1994.
As president, he created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which would investigate human rights and political violations committed by supporters and opponents of apartheid (from 1960-1994), introduced social and economic programs designed to help improve the living standards of South Africa’s Black population, and presided over the enactment of a new South African Constitution. This document established a strong central government based on majority rule and prohibited discrimination against minorities. Mandela was a devoted champion for peace and social justice.
This year’s focus for Nelson Mandela International Day surrounds the COVID-19 global pandemic, global anti-racist protests, and gender-based violence, which remains particularly prevalent in South Africa. Let’s honor Mandela’s legacy by uplifting and empowering underserved communities and providing a platform for them. As we face challenging times, this is the time to advocate for change to strengthen our communities, educate ourselves, and be better allies.
The Little Market collaborates with organizations with aligning missions to support equal justice efforts. Here are the ways we support:
SUPPORTING EQUAL REPRESENTATION
At The Little Market, we support inclusivity and condemn any forms of racism or discrimination. We have created a collection with the Equal Justice Initiative, sharing in its commitment to positively changing the narrative about race in America by advocating for equal treatment in the criminal justice system. Learn more and raise awareness with us.
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EMPOWER + UPLIFT UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
In July 2018, we joined forces with This is About Humanity, a community dedicated to raising awareness about separated and reunified families and children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The This is About Humanity Fund at the International Community Foundation helps support individuals on either side of the border with essentials for living, access to legal services, mental wellness checkups, construction projects at shelters, and critical needs for unaccompanied minors.
Today, on Nelson Mandela International Day, we celebrate his birthday and his extraordinary work. To honor Mandela’s legacy, we will continue to use our platform to raise awareness of social and racial inequality.
“Presumption of Guilt.” Equal Justice Initiative. Web. Accessed June 8, 2020.
Jennifer Bronson, Ph. D. and E. Ann Carson, Ph. D. “Prisoners in 2017.” U.S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. April 2019. Accessed June 8, 2020.
Nelson Mandela Foundation. Web. Accessed July 17, 2020.