Artists for a New South Africa is mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, and has released the following statement.

Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) mourns the loss of our beloved Madiba. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and comrades, and to the people of South Africa and the world who held him dear.

Actress/activist Alfre Woodard, ANSA’s cofounder, said, “I am mourning deeply the passing on of my elder and cherished friend Nelson Mandela. He is more than an icon. He was a delightful human being, with a rich sense of humor and a big generous laugh. I am recommitting my life to the insistence on justice that living in the time of Mandela has inspired in me. I will miss you, Tata.”

Founded in 1989, ANSA is a nonprofit coalition of artists and activists working in the U.S. and Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, empower youth, advance democracy and civil rights, preserve the legacies and values of anti-apartheid leaders, and build bonds between nations through arts, culture, and the shared pursuit of social justice.

“Like activists the world over, we’ve been inspired and led by Madiba, who always guided us toward a higher road. Nelson Mandela symbolized the best of humankind and now it’s up to each of us to carry on his work, building a fairer society. Madiba will live on in the hearts of those who cherish his progressive values; his spirit will shine through anyone who takes brave, generous action to bring those values to life,” said ANSA executive director Sharon Gelman.

Other ANSA founders, board, advisors, and supporters include Gillian Anderson, Harry Belafonte, Donna Brown, Jackson Browne, Jonathan Butler, Don Cheadle, Johnny Clegg, Danny Glover, Robert Guillaume, Barbara Hogan, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jensen, Ahmed Kathrada, Kitsaun King, Ron Kunene, Artis Lane, Vusi Mahlasela, Hugh Masekela, Alexandra Paul, Sarah Pillsbury, Sidney Poitier, CCH Pounder, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Mark Rutstein, Albie Sachs, Carlos Santana, Deborah Santana, Marlene Saritzky, Bradley Silver, Anant Singh, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Roderick Spencer, Mary Steenburgen, Desmond Tutu, Cicely Tyson, Blair Underwood, Pauletta & Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Stevie Wonder, and more.

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