West Michigan Mourns the Loss of Nelson Mandela

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-06 06:14:16-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s hard for so many to believe that Nelson Mandela is gone.  Now more than ever, those who admire him have a mission to carry on his legacy.

Millions mourned the loss of the 95-year-old South African leader and anti-apartheid activist Thursday, including many here in West Michigan.

“Mandela was really about love and forgiveness and bringing people together as human beings on this planet,” said Jon McDonald, professor at Kendall College.

Mandela’s liberation from prison and rise to the presidency in South Africa changed things for the entire continent and around the world, McDonald said. “That was a point where you thought, ‘Okay, now maybe things are going to turn around.’”

In July, the Institute for Global Education held ‘Mandela Day’ in Grand Rapids in partnership with the United Nations. They asked people to do small acts of kindness in honor of Nelson Mandela. They emphasized making a difference together as a community.