Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 24, 1997

On Campus:
South African
Activist Winnie
Mandela To Speak

Leslie Rice
News and Information
Winnie Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and controversial former wife of South African President Nelson Mandela will speak at the university's Woodrow Wilson Symposium.

This year's symposium topic, "The Origins of Conflict and the Journey to Peace," will also feature Chai Ling, student leader of the pro-Democracy movement at the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Ling will speak at Shriver Hall on Monday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3. Mandela will speak the following Monday, April 7, at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall. Tickets for Mandela's talk are $15. The Woodrow Wilson Symposium is organized by undergraduates in the Department of International Studies in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Junior Liz Souter, symposium chair, said the symposium will examine conflicts that have existed for centuries between peoples of the same geographical regions. Organizers of the symposium hope the talks will cast a light on some of these disputes in a way that clarifies both their complex political issues and their themes common to human conflict.

"Our goal is to put a human face on history in the making," explained Souter. "We hope to inspire others to study our world's history as it unfolds, to bring to Hopkins speakers who have helped shape the path of human history and to offer an opportunity to view multiple perspectives of issues."

Chai Ling, student leader of the Chinese Democratic Movement, first came into the American consciousness through a videotaped interview made secretly just before the tanks rolled through Beijing's Tiananmen Square to squash the student uprising in June 1989. At the time she was commander-in-chief of the Tiananmen Square Committee while studying for a master's degree in child psychology at Beijing Normal University.

Miraculously, she and a few other leaders of the movement, who were marked for execution, were able to escape, first to Hong Kong and then to Paris. Now a graduate student in public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Ling is an outspoken leader in China's pro-democracy movement abroad. She has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Winnie Mandela, the controversial former wife of Nelson Mandela, will long be remembered for her steadfast devotion to her husband during his 26-year imprisonment and to the South African anti-apartheid movement. The personal costs of her political beliefs--years of house arrest, interrogations, pre-dawn searches, bombings, banishment from Johannesburg, separation from her children--led her South African supporters to refer to her as the "mother of the nation." Elected president of the African National Committee Women's League in 1993, Mandela is now one of the most prominent members of the South African Parliament.

The symposium will also feature films. On Wednesday, April 2, at 9 p.m. in the AMR1 TV Room, there will be a screening of Sarafina, a film that tells the story of a young black teacher (Whoopie Goldberg) in South Africa who speaks out against apartheid. The film has free admission.

For lecture tickets or more information, call (410) 243-0658.

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