Friday, December 6, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela....

Today, an eloquent voice has been silenced, a beautiful mind stilled, and a bountiful heart stopped. The epic soul of Nelson Mandela is now resting.
It is routine to suggest that the legacy of a man or woman will outlive that person, but in this case, the world will never be the same now that Nelson Mandela has occupied it. The example of his leadership – from prison to the presidency – from a land riven by fear to a people reconciled through truth and justice – will stand for all time.

Fifteen years ago, in an address to the United Nations, Mandela wrote his own epitaph: “As I sit in Qunu and grow as ancient as its hills, I will entertain the hope that there has emerged a cadre of leaders in my own country and region, on my continent and in the world, that will not allow any to be denied freedom as we were; that will not allow any to be turned into refugees as we were; that will not allow any to be condemned to go hungry as we were; and that will not allow any to be stripped of their dignity as we were.”

National Co-Chairs US Network for the UN Conference on Racism
Ione Biggs and Renate Jakupca

Nelson Mandela Peace Medal and Award presented in 2001 to Ione Biggs and Renate Jakupca,
Co-Directors of the 'US Network for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism'
I remember Nelson Mandela was a man of profound dignity.
I had the opportunity to see Nelson Mandela on several occasions when our work at the United Nations coincided. In 2001 Ione Biggs and Renate Jakupca, together as Co-Directors of the 'US Network for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism' a project of the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) made their mark on contemporary history in Durban, South Africa by answering the United Nations’ call to "forge a real sense of vision and common purpose in the struggle for racial harmony and tolerance." Their courage and vision were publicly recognized when Ione and Renate received from Nelson Mandela his International Gold Medal Leadership Award in Human Rights. My condolences to his family and loved ones and to the people of South Africa and all of the World. Now as we mourn his passing and celebrate his life, we must also find inspiration in his memory – striving daily to promote peace, freedom, and dignity for others.His lessons will live on, and his life's work will continue to inspire us all. Madiba~ Thank you for all you have given. You will not be forgotten. Peace Friend.

PS~ It is hard to believe that over twenty years ago Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Dalai Lama, Jimmy Cater, Geraldine Ferraro, Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Nelson others from the Elders believed in Cleveland by allowing the American Cultural Ambassadors, Me and David Jakupca of the International center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) to recycle the United Nations Worlds Conferences

The Mandela Family have released a Statement on the Death of a Great Man

presented to American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca
Geneva, Switzerland

'US Network for the Conference Against Racism'

World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination

Daily Highlights - World Conference against Racism

World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
Durban, South Africa
31 August – 7 September 2001

3 SEPTEMBER, 2001: 12:45 P.M.

"As a citizen of the world community, I stand with the United Nations against racism, discrimination and intolerance of any kind. Throughout my life I will try to promote equality, justice and dignity among all people in my home, my community and everywhere in the world".
These are the words of the United Nations Personal Pledge Against Racism, launched in December 2000 as part of an international youth art competition to promote the World Conference against Racism. A selection of the drawings, paintings, essays and poems are now on view in a two-part display at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Durban (ground floor, foyer area) and at the Durban Exhibition Centre (DEC).
A group of the youth artists from South Africa and from the United States will be attending the event with Mary Robinson to present her with the "United Nations Pledge Against Racism" on 3 September at the ICC main foyer exhibition site.
The pledge and the art competition were organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information in cooperation with the Youth Art Connection / Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlanta in the United States, who worked with over 30 countries in their global youth outreach programme, International Paint Pals.
UN Information Centres worldwide also participated, along with Survivors Art Foundation, Totem Rythms, Cheney University in the United States and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
A special nationwide competition was held throughout South Africa, organized by the UN Information Centre, Pretoria. Former South African President Nelson Mandela handed over the first prize--a bicycle--to Christa Schutz from Glencoe, Kwazulu-Natal, at his home in Houghton on 9 July. Mandela asked Christa to explain the painting and to "tell all the children I love them". Reknowned musician Hugh Masekela was one of the five judges who selected the winning entries for the Durban exhibit.
In Atlanta, home of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Youth Art Connection hosted an event to "Stomp Out Racism", where hundreds of children placed their feet in buckets of coloured paint and stepped onto a huge canvas banner, and stomped out the words "racism, hatred, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance". The event was held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and the banner was carried to the Durban Conference from Atlanta to be part of the art exhibition.

Survivors Art Foundation, with students from Cheney University--the oldest historically black university in the United States--also prepared hanging silk paintings for the Durban Conference. Four students from Cheney University came to Durban to help with the creation of a "Tree of Pledges" at the exhibit site in the DEC. Totem Rhythms also created banners and "story poles" with young and elder Native Americans, using indigenous symbols and patterns.
Since its launch in December 2000, more than a million people have signed the Pledge Against Racism, which was sent around the world via the Internet, through the UN Information Centres, and through NGOs. The United Nations Information Centres in India and Bangladesh alone collected over 60,000 signatures; many of these are now incorporated into the Tree of Pledges in Durban.

On the passing of Nelson Mandela
This evening, President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.
Click here to watch President Obama's statement.
by Pris Reagan Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 at 8:58 PM 440-891-8376 ICEA Box 81496 Cleveland, Ohio 44181 USA
The global movement for human rights has lost one of its great figures - Ione Bigg.
Ambassador Renate and Ione Biggs

Cleveland, Ohio - The global movement for human rights has lost one of its great figures. Ione Biggs, a beloved friend and defender of human rights, died Friday, December 16th, 2005 at LakeWest Hospital. She was 89. She was a advocate for social change in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia and Central America.

Ione fought tirelessly for social change. In the 1960s she marched for Mayor Carl B. Stokes and against the Vietnam War. She later worked with Nine Five to advocate for working women. She backed Cleveland Women Working, Speakout for Affirmative Action, League of Women Voters, WomenSpace, American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations. She attended a peace conference in Sweden. She went to the Soviet Union to support women there who wanted nuclear disarmament.

She was an advocate of the principles of the United Nations and attended the 1985 UN World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1992 Ione became active with the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) in Cleveland, Ohio. She contributed to the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, Austria (1993), the Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt (1994), the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China (1995), and the Habitat II - Conference on Cities in Istanbul, Turkey (1996), EXPO2000 in Hannover, Germany (2000), World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa (2001) and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa (2002).

In 2000 Ione became Honorary Chairwomen of the Board of ICEA when the organization was nominated by TIME Magazine in their Millennium Issue as one of their Hero's of the Planet.
In 2001 Ione Biggs and Renate Jakupca, together as Co-Directors of the 'US Network for the Conference Against Racism', made their mark on contemporary history in Durban, South Africa by answering the United Nations’ call to "forge a real sense of vision and common purpose in the struggle for racial harmony and tolerance." Their courage and vision were publicly recognized when Ione and Renate received the Nelson Mandela International Gold Medal Leadership Award in Human Rights.
Full Story:

Ione and her husband, Keith, were married for 53 years, he died in 2003.
Ione is survived by a son, Keith D. Jr., of Euclid, and a daughter, Gladys Morrow of Baltimore.

Her Memorial Service was held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec 21, 2005 at the Church of the Covenant, 11205 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.
Friends of Ione filled the large church to its capacity.

Opening Statements:
Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones
Louise Lawler, Women Speak out
Renate Jakupca, Director ICEA

Paticipating Ministers:
Rev. Jonyrma R. Singleton
Rev. Harold Carter
Rev. Laury W. Larson
Rev. Dr. Robert J. Campbell

Ode to Ione Biggs
God saw you getting tired
When a cure was not to be.
He closed His arms around you
And whispered, "Ione, Come with me."
In tears we saw you fade away
You fought so hard to stay.

But when we saw you sleeping
Peacefully, free from pain,
We would not make you stay
To suffer that again.
So treasure her, Lord
In your garden of rest,
For here on earth
She was one of the best!

Ione Biggs and ICEA:

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"Mandela taught the world that the very path to freedom and human dignity lies in love, wisdom and compassion."
A delegation of Elders is in South Africa today to attend the memorial service of their founder, Nelson Mandela.
Read the full statement by The Elders' Chair Kofi Annan:

Remembering Nelson Mandela: Remarks by President Barack Obama

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