Former Boston Judge Mar­garet Burnham, now a law pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, was selected by Man­dela to help South Africa tran­si­tion to full demo­c­ratic rule and says this day honors Mandela’s activism

All across the world, cit­i­zens of the world will be cel­e­brating Man­dela Day,” Burnham said. “It’s a day of service.”

That’s in keeping with the U.N. res­o­lu­tion calling on people world­wide to donate 67 min­utes of time working for a favorite charity. That’s one minute for each year of Mandela’s activism, starting from his days as a polit­ical leader, his years as a human rights attorney, his decades as a polit­ical pris­oner, then ulti­mately win­ning the Nobel Peace Prize and becoming the first black pres­i­dent of South Africa.

Burnham helped plan Mandela’s first visit to the U.S. 23 years ago.

When he came to Boston in June 1990, he said the example that Boston has been will always be a dia­mond in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid,” Burnham said. “I recall him saying that Boston’s con­tri­bu­tion was spe­cial and unique to those fighting in South Africa.”

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