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Centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth: Mile-long walk to honour his legacy

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UEL invites everyone to #walktogether to mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela

The University of East London (UEL) is inviting members of the public to join graduating students and academic staff on a mile-long Royal Docks walk on July 18 to mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

The ‘Mandela Mile’  is being staged as part of a global celebration of the life and achievements of the late South African president, with similar walks being held in cities such as Johannesburg, Bangalore and Sao Paolo.  

There will also be a central London walk stretching from Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square to his bust at the South Bank Centre.

The UEL walk will be a special celebration of Mandela’s support for education and its power to give people from humble backgrounds the opportunity to “change the world”.

The centenary celebrations coincide with the first day of UEL’s summer graduation ceremonies at the London ExCeL on July 18. The walk will take place at 9am before the first of the graduation ceremonies gets underway later in the morning.

Students and staff members participating in the ceremony will walk the mile-long route in their academic gowns and mortarboards, along with their friends and family members, other UEL students and staff and members of the public

Among the VIP guests joining the walk will be South Africa’s Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Golden Neswiswi.

With kind permission of ExCeL London, the walk will start at the east entrance to ExCeL (nearest DLR station Prince Regent) and follow the Dockside path alongside the conference centre before looping back. 

UEL’s Chair of Governors, Geoff Thompson, said: “Nelson Mandela’s values of fairness and equality opportunity and his commitment to education as a driver of social mobility are part of our core beliefs at UEL. 

“Like Mandela, we are dedicated to widening access to higher education and transforming the lives of our students, and so it is only fitting that we honour his enduring legacy by walking in his honour on this special day of celebration.”

#MandelaMile, is a joint initiative of Kin of Kush and UNA UK Westminster in support of Mandela100, a Nelson Mandela Foundation initiative to promote Madiba’s legacy, and #WalkTogether, a year-long campaign to spark hope in the world, set up by The Elders in the lead-up to Nelson Mandela’s Centenary. The campaign celebrates grassroots organisations working around the world for Peace, Health, Justice and Equality – referred to as ‘Sparks of Hope’.



Supported by

The Elders    Nelson Mandela Foundation   The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

United Nations Association Westminster Branch    The Youth Charter

University of East London   Women Walk Together   

Youth Production Network     The Event Academy     

The Greater London Authority (Community Engagement)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

London ExCeL east entrance

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