(Queens, NY)- On Friday, December 27, 2013, Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Jamaica) and Dreamland Amusements hosted a free viewing of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the Jamaica Multiplex in Jamaica, Queens. Close to 500 Queens residents and members of the community came out for the free showing and to remember a great man. Because of the overwhelming demand to attend the movie and panel discussion on the former South African president, Senator Sanders helped secure additional spaces for more community members to attend.
“The response to this small tribute is a strong demonstration of the global impact of this larger than life figure,” Senator Sanders said. “The diversity of the group in attendance here today, with individuals from all walks of life, many different religions, and racial backgrounds is a fitting way to remember a man that stood for equality and fought to have people look passed racial differences.”
Following the death of Mandela on December 5th, Senator Sanders felt it extremely important to bring the community together to remember this remarkable individual and to educate where needed our younger generation on the immeasurable contribution of the historic African leader.
Senator Sanders said, “We who are alive have been extraordinarily fortunate to live during the time of Nelson Mandela. To have a front row seat to witness transformational change take place before our eyes is a once in a lifetime event. In an age of giants, Mandela stood tall. While there is much work left to be done to fulfill the vision of eradicating inequality and erasing all strands of discrimination, the legacy of Mandela will be one of laying the critical foundation for the tower of justice. It was my honor and privilege to put this event together to end the year recognizing a man whose ideals will continue to live on.”
Councilman Donovan Richards said, “It was an honor to experience Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on the big screen with over 500 community members. I want to thank state Senator James Sanders Jr. for uniting our community with this historic opportunity to reflect, cry, and reaffirm our commitments to the fight against injustice.”
Assemblyman David Weprin said, “I am proud to join Senator Sanders and the community to pay tribute to the revered global humanitarian, Nelson Mandela. In the spirit of peace and non-violence, let us continue to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela by standing together in solidarity against racism, inequality, injustice and mass violence at home and abroad.”
Community Resident Phillipa Karteron said, "This movie and discussion taught a valuable lesson, one we must study and is important to understand, to go forward as a country, a people and as a world.”