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UNI to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

December 6, 2013

Michael Blackwell, director, UNI Center for Multicultural Education, 319-273-2250,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host a service in remembrance of Nelson Mandela from noon to 1 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9, at the Center for Multicultural Education (CME).

People will also have the opportunity to write their condolences and memories of Mandela in a memorial booklet. The booklet will be available at the CME beginning the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 6 through Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in South Africa. Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign to help South Africa break the practice of racial segregation and do away with white minority rule.

Mandela was imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against apartheid. He was freed in 1990 and quickly set about working to unite the nation through forgiveness and reconciliation. Four years after he left prison, Mandela became South Africa's first black president.

"Nelson Mandela was such a wonderful symbol of freedom and reconciliation in the world," said Michael Blackwell, director of UNI's CME. "He was a man with a passion for justice and peace. Students and the community should know he's a great person to pay tribute to."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Blackwell at 319-273-2250 or