The Mandela Washington Fellowship observes Mandela Day at Books For Africa

Today, July 18, would have been the late Nelson Mandela’s 99th birthday. The late Mandela fought for equality and democracy and spent 27 years in prison for his fight for the majority of black South Africans to participate in governing their country.

25 fellows with the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which is run by the U.S. State Department, observed Mandela Day by converging at the Saint Paul warehouse of Books For Africa to sort and pack books that are bound for Africa. The State Department runs the fellowship through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which this year has brought 1,000 promising African leaders for six-week long residencies at universities across the country. This was one of former president Barack Obama’s signature initiatives targeting the African continent.