This blog is written to support my former work at Ruskin College with trade unionists in the UK and internationally. Please feel to comment on, constructively criticise, and add to what is posted here. It is my hope that the blog posts encourage discussion and debate on how best to secure trade union renewal globally. I hope also to continue to support Ruskin's tradition of critical pedagogy in opening debate and dialogue in the pursuit of social, political and economic justice.
Friday, 6 December 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
The text below has been written by my colleague Peter Dwyer in respect of the impact and legacy of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and globally. As a new student at Ruskin in October 1989 events in South Africa were presaging a new political era and so by February 1990 Mandela was released. I remember disctinctly watching Mandela's release - that famous walk hand-in-hand with Winnie Mandela - and asking our South African colleagues what this moment meant for them. Ruskin still proudly retains its links with the South African labour movement and Pete's words speak for College staff and students in recognising our historical past and future relationship.
Ruskin College mourns the death of Nelson Mandela
Ruskin College pays tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela and the liberation movement he came to symbolise.
The whole world is mourning the loss of one of the most inspirational public figures of modern times. Much will be said about Nelson Mandela in the coming days and years but he was without doubt a political activist, a tireless campaigner for equality and justice.
As a College that was founded in 1895 to provide further and higher education for those to whom it was originally denied, Ruskin is proud to have become a home and a refuge for those who were exiled from South Africa during the years of apartheid. Many of our past and present students and staff played an active role in the anti-apartheid movement and built genuine links with the South African liberation movement.
Today, primarily through our trade union based courses, we still maintain links with a range of progressive organisations and campaigners in South Africa. In 2014 we will provide a scholarship to a woman trade unionist from South Africa to fund her study at the College. Consequently, we can think of no better tribute to Nelson Mandela and all that he stood for than to carry on our work of providing educational programmes based on the principles of equality and social justice.
In the near future the College will celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and the achievements of the anti-apartheid movement