Washington, D.C. — Today, the 95-year-old former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela passed away. In honor of Mandela’s extraordinary legacy, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following statement:
Nelson Mandela was a fighter for the values that make our world better—peace, equality, and freedom—and I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing. President Mandela was a beacon of light and hope not just to his country but around the world. He demonstrated phenomenal wisdom and determination, and we are fortunate to be able to call ourselves witnesses of his legacy of ending apartheid in South Africa. Through his unparalleled leadership and committed focus to dismantling inequality, poverty, and institutionalized racism, President Mandela transformed South Africa into a more just, equitable society for all of its citizens, regardless of color. His life was a profound statement that the power of human dignity could break almost any barrier, and his example will help give hope to all of those who seek freedom and equality for generations to come.
Mandela’s dedication to combating poverty and advancing social justice is the foundation in which we will continue to build global prosperity and equal opportunity for all. As we continue to tackle extreme poverty, economic disparities, and social injustice worldwide, his vision of a more peaceful, just society should forever be a source of guidance among our nation’s leaders.