Iowa African American Museum Celebrates Nelson Mandela's Life

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By Katie Stinson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - People gathered in Cedar Rapids Monday night for a memorial at the African American Museum of Iowa. A handful of people participated in a program called "Remembering Nelson Mandela."

The event started with an explanation of the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela. Many who participated say the civil rights leader influenced them on a personal and professional level. A Guatemalan man spoke about how Mandela inspired him as his country recovered from genocide and war.

"Personally, as an indigenous person, people forget that Nelson Mandela, besides being a hero for Africans and African Americans, he is also a hero for First Nations, for indigenous people all over the world," John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, the Cedar Rapids Civil Right Commission said.

He says the South African leader inspired many to overcome systems of oppression and turn to peace and reconciliation. The African American Museum says it's an honor to provide this opportunity to celebrate Mandela's life.



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