African American Denomination, Other Faith and Civil Rights Leaders Call for a "Moment of Remembrance" Honoring President Nelson Mandela on Sunday, December 15

We, leaders of predominantly African American denominations, other faith leaders and civil rights leaders call on individuals, churches and organizations to honor President Nelson Mandela with an act of solidarity on the day he is laid to rest, Sunday, December 15, 2013.    Across the nation, please join us in “a minute of remembrance.”
It is impossible to think about Nelson Mandela without thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr.  While separated by great physical distance, the walk to freedom for Blacks in America and Blacks in South Africa was fueled by an inextricable spiritual connection personified in the lives of these two men who changed the world for the better.
As a freedom fighter and a unifier, Mandela reminded us, “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, [we] can be that generation.”  He understood that bitterness and hatred were poison to the soul.  As President of South Africa, he modeled forgiveness and reconciliation in a way that left the world in awe.  For his noble fight, his personification of forgiveness and his ongoing inspiration to create a better future, we pause in national unity to honor, salute and remember Nelson Mandela.
Mandela’s life serves as an inspiration to people everywhere to continue the fight for freedom and equal opportunity.  As we pause on Sunday, let us pledge to continue the unfinished business to which this great, yet humble, servant dedicated himself.
On Sunday, December 15, 2013, we ask African American organizations, churches and community members across the country to join us in a “moment of remembrance” dedicated to Nelson Mandela, his life and his legacy through a number of special activities such as: a Minute of Silence; Liturgy; Youth Presentation/Recitation of Mandela quotes; Dance ministry performance/dedication; or other events as desired.
In support of this unified effort, we affix our names:
The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Pastor Emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church

The Reverend Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner
Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network     

The Reverend Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr.
Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network                 

Mr. Marc H. Morial
President and CEO, National Urban League

The Reverend Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore
President, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.                          
Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.                  
Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle, Church of God In Christ, Inc.

Bishop John R. Bryant                                    
Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Ms. Melanie Campbell                            
President and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation  
The Reverend Dr., Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook
Founding President, Women In Ministry International

The Reverend Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III      
Chair of the Board, The Proctor Institute

Bishop Reginald Jackson                                
Regional Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Ms. Lorraine C. Miller                                    
Interim President and CEO, NAACP

Bishop Paul S. Morton                                    
International Presiding Bishop, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International

The Reverend Dr. Julius R. Scruggs                
President, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

The Reverend Al Sharpton                            
Founder and President, National Action Network

Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr.                        
Senior Bishop, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

The Reverend Dr. Stephen Thurston              
President, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.

The Reverend Dr. C. T. Vivian                        
President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Bishop Edwin C. Bass                                    
President, Church of God In Christ, Inc., Urban Initiatives, Inc.

Bishop Michael Kelsey, Sr.                            
Executive Treasurer, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International  

The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, III                      
Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

The Reverend Talbert Swan, II                      
Advisor To Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop,Social Justice/Public Policy               

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” -  Nelson Mandela