Today Toronto make’s history. As a gathered community of schools across the GTA, non-profit organizations, businesses, unions and civic leaders, we will walk together to commemorate Nelson Mandela and the principles for which he held steadfast.
As a member of the planning committee, it has been an honour to work with Lloyd McKell whose vision unfolds this afternoon. Under Lloyd’s leadership and with dedicated supporters, the city of Toronto mobilized to ceremoniously rename University Avenue to Nelson Mandela Boulevard. As well, Lloyd was instrumental in bringing Madiba to visit Canada, and together, we will walk where Madiba once had, from Armoury street starting at 12pm and end at Queen’s Park for performances and speeches.
While we look to honour one of the greatest leaders of our time, today’s Freedom Walk is to celebrate the principles of building a society free of discrimination, a place where human rights and dignity is respected and that people can live carefree of abuse and oppression.
Yet it is also a day to honour hope. Without it, how does a leader survive 27 years in jail? How does a movement inspire not only South Africans but individuals, communities and nations across the entire world?
The road to achieving social justice is never easy. But like Madiba, it is well worth the long walk.
“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of”
– Executive Director, Jason Merai