Moderated by John Simpkins, Fellow in Comparative Constitutional Law with the Charleston School of Law, and Elke Zuern, politics faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College. The year 2018 marks a major milestone in the life of Nelson Mandela, his centenary. And thus, a perfect moment to pause and reflect on a life that forever changed the course of history. We will explore the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the man, both a revered force for good and a human with his foibles. What was unique about Mandela’s strategy and tactics that allowed him to put an end to apartheid, becoming one of the most notable leaders of our lifetime? How did Mandela and his party, the ANC, make peace with their former adversary to help South Africa move past the institutionalized racial segregation that had been the law of the land for decades on end? How successful was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in ushering in a new era for the nation? Today, where can his legacy be felt both in South Africa and around the world? What work remains to be done to live up to his vision and what strategies are necessary get us there? Evening opening reception followed by three half-day sessions.
Elke Zuern is a Professor of Politics at Sarah Lawrence College. She was a researcher for the Regional Peace Secretariat in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1994, a Visiting Scholar with the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg and, most recently, the Van Zyl Slabbert Chair and Visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town. She is the author of The Politics of Necessity: Community Organizing and Democracy in South Africa (University of Wisconsin Press and UKZN Press in Southern Africa, 2011) as well as many articles and book chapters on questions ranging from violence in democratic transitions, popular understandings of democracy, the quest for justice in unequal societies, and the role of heroes and villains in politics and society.
John Simpkins is Fellow in Comparative Constitutional Law with the Charleston School of Law and Of Counsel with Wyche, PA. He co-chairs the Liberty Fellowship Public Policy Forum. A South Carolina native and Liberty Fellow, Simpkins grew up in Lexington and now lives in Vancouver. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Diversity Initiatives with the Charleston School of Law.
He has observed and consulted in the constitution-building processes in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda and is a member of the African Network of the International Association of Constitutional Law. Simpkins co-founded the Center for a Better South and is Senior Associate at the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics, and Public Leadership at Furman University. A political analyst, he has worked with WYFF Channel 4 in Greenville and WCBD Channel 2 in Charleston.