The University Record, November 20, 2000

Winnie Mandela to speak here

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, freedom fighter, author and president of the Women’s League of the African National Congress, will speak at 7 p.m. Nov 30 in the Michigan Union Ballroom.

Mandela’s presentation, “The HIV/AIDS Crisis in South Africa and the African Diaspora,” is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies.

Mandela’s adult life, much of which was spent separated from her now-divorced husband, ANC President Nelson Mandela, who spent 26 years of his life in prison, has been one of political activism. Armed with a diploma in social work and a B.A. in political science with a major in international relations, Mandela entered the struggle for the liberation of South Africa in the 1950s and was imprisoned several times for her activities.

“It was while working as the first Black medical social worker at Baragwanath Hospital that I started to become politicized,” Mandela has said. “I started to realize the abject poverty under which most people were forced to live, the appalling conditions created by the inequalities of the system. Above all, I became politically conscious through the research I had carried out in Alexandra Township to establish the rate of infantile mortality—it was 10 deaths in every 1,000 births.”

Mandela has endured years of political harassment, personal pain and a wave of media controversy. Her appearance here is co-sponsored by the Office for Academic and Multicultural Initiatives, the School of Information, the International Institute, the Comprehensive Studies Program, the South African Initiative Office, the School of Social Work, the Department of Communications, the Center for the Education of Women and the Women’s Studies Program.