Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Image courtesy of South Africa The Good News /

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, key leader in the effort to overcome apartheid, and global symbol of reconciliation and justice died on December 5, 2013.    As the world mourns, celebrates, and reflects on the life of Nelson Mandela, or Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known to many South Africans, it is appropriate to take some time to realize Mandela’s impact on Bethel.

Curtiss Paul DeYoung, founder and head of the Reconciliation Studies program at Bethel, pointed out a video in which Mandela thanks the faith community and quotes Isaiah in his first visit to the United States (He begins speaking at 2:42). Reconciliation Studies majors must choose a study abroad option and one of them is to spend time in South Africa learning about the anti-apartheid efforts including a visit to prison where Mandela was held.

Leon Rodrigues, our Chief Diversity Officer, was involved in the anti-apartheid efforts when he was a student in South Africa and helped facilitate trips back to South Africa for Heita!, South Africa, an “experiential learning project to cross-cultural engagement that focally addresses the social realities of South Africa relating to economic and systemic injustice, poverty, and building a new South Africa post political freedom”.

Four trips between 2006-2009 were organized by DeYoung and Rodrigues, assisted by student, Seth Naicker, to which over sixty Bethel staff, faculty or administrators participated including our very own president and his wife, Jay and Barb Barnes.

We would also appreciate hearing any thoughts on Nelson Mandela from you in the comments section below.

In addition to the links mentioned above, here is a list of ways that you can remember, reflect or learn more about Nelson Mandela through the Bethel University Library:

General Background Sources


  • 15 online videos related to Nelson Mandela in Films on Demand, an educational video service (Bethel community only – subscription-based)
  • Dean, M., & ABC News. (1990). Mandela: The man & his country. S.l.: MPI Home Video.
  • Eastwood, C., Peckham, A., McCreary, L., Lorenz, R., Neufeld, M., Freeman, M., Damon, M., … Warner Home Video (Firm). (2010). Invictus. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Pictures.
  • Ewence, P., Brooks, A., Sandra Carter Productions., & American Institute for Education. (1999). Mandela: Man of vision. Las Vegas, NV: American Institute for Education.
  • Vogel, H., Aukin, D., Milne, P., Travis, P., Hurt, W., Ejiofor, C., Miller, J. L., … Monterey Media Inc. (2010). Endgame. Los Angeles: Distributed by Monterey Media.


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