NAACP to honor Nelson Mandela tonight

Nelson Mandela makes his first visit to Minnesota today to speak at the annual fund-raiser for the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP.
The former South African president will also receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the chapter.
The event, with tickets going for as much as $2,500, is sold out. The Minnesota Meeting, a local organization for public discourse, will broadcast the speech live on the Internet for free. This will enable interested people from around the world to hear and see Mandela’s speech.
Pre-registration, at www.mnmeeting.com, is the only requirement to receive the event on-line.
The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the speech and dinner beginning around 7 p.m. at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel and Towers.
The web event starts at 8 p.m., presenting Mandela’s speech in its entirety as well as Web-only guest speakers, including members of Mandela’s South African delegation. Internet users can also send in questions to the speakers and participate in instant polls regarding the issues being discussed.
On Tuesday, Mandela will be presented with a contribution from eight Minnesota-based companies to fund a monument outside of Robben Island, the prison which held Mandela as a political prisoner for 27 years.
Mandela was released in 1990 and elected president in South Africa’s first multiracial election in 1994.
In the past, Minnesota Meeting has provided a public forum for speakers including Alan Greenspan, Colin Powell and Jesse Ventura.
— Tracey Nelson