Remember those who feel forgotten. Stand with those who feel alone. Speak for those who have been silenced. Know that alone I have power; together we are invincible.
Amnesty USA was approached by the U.S. producers of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom because, as Harvey Weinstein reiterated at the Washington, D.C. premiere, he felt it was critical the story of President Mandela be exposed to as many people as possible in the hopes of inspiring social activism to make positive change in the world. Since this is exactly what Amnesty does – urge people to take action to create change – it was a natural fit.
This project has been exhilarating, motivating, exhausting, but mostly inspiring. Being involved prompted me to not take for granted the power of a story I know so well.
Wednesday night, as I sat in the theater with 1000 people, I felt the emotion and energy this movie incites. I watched grown men cry and young people motivated for action. The legacy of a man who turned to peace and forgiveness showed me the capacity of the human spirit to choose love over hate.
I was reminded of the strength of the man who took on AIDS activism through 46664 at a time when the South African government turned a blind eye to the epidemic. I was inspired to do more for social justice, and I guarantee you will be as well.
Luckily, we can help you in your quest! You can join Write4Rights this December, the largest grassroots human rights campaign in the world, to commemorate Human Rights Day. In honor of Mandela, people of influence contributed videos describing the impact Mandela made on their lives. Amnesty has a companion legacy project where you can take a picture with a sign describing how #Mandela inspires you (the opening words above are from my sign) and upload it to our website.
The Weinstein Company also developed a high school curriculum to which Amnesty contributed a human rights supplement. We encourage you to connect with your local high school, whether you are a student, parent, teacher, administrator or activist and discuss the power of this opportunity to inspire a new generation to not accept injustice in this world and demand something better.
Madiba, Nelson Mandela, has been a part of my life story for over 20 years. This powerful film of his life inspired me to feel again why I chose to Remember, Stand, Speak and exercise my Power. I urge you to see it and know the same.