New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that a new high school will be built in honor of the late iconic figure Nelson Mandela.
Bloomberg, along with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, released an official statement Friday revealing the name of the new institution: the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice.
The school, which is scheduled to open in September 2014, will be located in the Boys and Girls High School campus that Nelson Mandela visited in 1990, just months after he was released from serving 27 years of a life sentence for political offences in South Africa, reads the release. The Boys and Girls high school is the oldest public high school in Brooklyn.
“Nelson Mandela visited this building not long after he was released from prison, and we want to ensure that the special bond between the students and this legendary figure will live forever,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott.
“Every time they enter and exit its doors, our students at this new school will be reminded of the values he personified. A school that bears his name will encourage our students to demonstrate courage, overcome obstacles, and embrace community. His legacy will forever live on in New York City schools, and I hope our students will reflect on, grow from, and emulate this extraordinary man.”
Bloomberg also encouraged New Yorkers to further honor Mandela’s legacy by volunteering their time this weekend through the city’s comprehensive volunteer initiative, NYC Service. Those who choose to participate in the community service outreach are asked to share their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ServeMandela.
“Equal opportunity and access to education were among the many things Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting for,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “President Mandela once said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’”
“Renaming the campus he visited shortly after his release from prison will forever serve as a reminder that our mandate as public servants is to provide our children with the weapons they need for a successful future and help us build a city of inclusion and opportunity that Madiba could be proud of.”