mandela-day-logo.jpgSouth Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, spent 67 years making the world a better place, starting with nothing more than a prison uniform and his own two hands. Now a day has been set aside for inspiring the rest of the world to “Make an Imprint”, creating a new humanity using their own two hands.

Mandela Day, Saturday, July 18, marks the former president’s 91st birthday, a day to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation. Mandela Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an imprint. It asks everyone to take 67 minutes to serve someone else, representing the 67 years Mandela spent as an activist.

Celebrities and movie stars have contributed “their two hands” to an inspiring music video made by the Mandela Foundation. (Watch the video below.) The Mandela Day website even offers the ability to cut yourself and your friends into the film, choosing your favorite celebs to make your own unique version.

Mandela Day
was launched by the 46664 campaign, named after the prison ID number Mandela wore for 27 years, to raise awareness about Mandela’s broader humanitarian work. All funds raised from Mandela Day activities, like the Gala Dinner and Auction hosted for dignitaries last night by Bill Clinton, will support the ongoing work of 46664 and the Nelson mandela-2-hands.jpgMandela charitable organizations, raising funds for children and AIDS causes.

At the dinner auction Wednesday, Clinton was joined by actor Morgan Freeman, who portrays Mandela in an upcoming film directed by Clint Eastwood; US actors Forest Whitaker and Matt Damon; and singers Harry Belafonte, Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Auction items included handwritten messages by Mr Mandela and a framed print featuring a collection of photos showing celebrities holding up their hands honoring the logo of Mandela Day.

Mandela Day 2009 will conclude with a special evening concert in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Performers will include Stevie Wonder, Wyclef Jean, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Will.I.Am and the Soweto Gospel Choir. Livestream will offer free or premium (for $4.99) online streaming that lets viewers anywhere in the world take part in the concert. Tickets are priced from 40 dollars and are still available.

“New York City was busy with other Mandela-related projects this week, including volunteer park clean-ups, used book drives, a free performance of a play about HIV/AIDS prevention, and a free exhibit dedicated to Mandela’s life and values inside Grand Central terminal,” reported the Earth Times.

(Read more in Earth Times)

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