|Rev. William J. Bellamy presented Rev. Heber Jentzsch with the Nelson R. Mandela Multi-Cultural Centers First Annual Humanitarian Award in Los Angeles.|
new center is being established in Hollywood to provide educational and cultural programs on the new South Africa and other communities of colored people throughout the world.
But in addition to contributing to a vision of the future, the Nelson R. Mandela Multi-Cultural Center will serve as an official display of the recent South African past: the inhumanity, injustices and brutalities of apartheid, and the inspiration of those who fought to bring justice, freedom and dignity to all.
The center, which is being established by a committee led by All Peoples African Methodist Episcopalian Church founder and pastor, Reverend W.J. Bellamy, will contain photographs, artifacts and literature from the Dutch colonial period through to the present. Supported by African National Congress representatives in the United States, the center was first conceived at the end of 1994, and received support at the 49th National ANC Congress at Bloemfontein in December that year.
The new center follows in the footsteps of an earlier exhibition organized by Reverend Bellamy at the California Afro-American Museum, Amandla-Awethu: African-American Solidarity, 1890-1994.
Through use of multi-media, the exhibit took visitors through a symbolic freedom walk of barbed wire, fences, barriers and more than 100 photographs, starting from the beginning of the fight for liberation through to a voting booth and sample ballot form from the recent South African elections.
A benefit dinner held recently on behalf of the new center brought together more than 200 dignitaries including the South African Consul-General, U.S. Congresswoman Juanita McDonald, district council and community group representatives, artists, and Jan Eastgate, president of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR). Each one received a special commemorative booklet of the dinner and a copy of Creating Racism: Psychiatrys Betrayal In The Guise Of Help, a booklet published by CCHR which detailed the roots of modern racism and apartheid in South Africa.
A video presentation at the start of the event paid tribute to Nelson Mandela. It included footage of violence in South Africa under the former regime, and speeches given by Mr. Mandela, and by Reverend Bellamy and Reverend Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, who has been a leading contributor in the drive to make the center a reality.
Reverend Jentzsch echoed Mr. Mandelas sentiments that Out of an experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted for too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.
He too looked to the future by saying Bringing the Nelson R. Mandela Center here to Hollywood will help for the first time in America to bring an understanding of the new Africa. To bring an understanding of mans spiritual nature.... Not that we stick in the past but that we understand enough of the past that we can prevent the destruction of the future... Mandelas vision is the future. A man who could take what he did and live through it and bring through the spirit that he has now is a testament to the spirit of man.
The Church of Scientology has long supported the fight for human rights in South Africa, starting in the 1970s and proceeding to this day (see Maintaining Our Freedoms).
Later in the evening, Reverend Bellamy presented awards to many community leaders on behalf of the Center. Reverend Jentzsch was awarded the Nelson R. Mandela Multi-Cultural Centers 1st Annual Humanitarian Award, which was inscribed with a commendation to Reverend Jentzsch as an outstanding developer of character in men and women, and freedom for all, and a champion for the grassroots people.
If you would like more information on the Nelson R. Mandela Multi-Culture Center or wish to help make the center a reality, contact Rev. William J. Bellamy at 1621 S. F. Mission Blvd., Suite 242, Granada Hills, CA 91344, or call (818) 997-8636.