Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Hosts Mandela Day Tribute
Mandela great-nephew video conferences from South Africa to speak to community leaders observing Mandela Day in Washington, D.C.
Diplomats, leaders and community activists gathered at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office July 18 in observance of United Nations Nelson Mandela International Day for Freedom Justice and Democracy. Service to others was the keynote of the day.
Attendees participated in a video conference with Prince Unathi Mtirara, great-nephew of Nelson Mandela, CEO of Opera South Africa and board member of Nelson Mandela Library. Emphasizing that service is Mandela’s hallmark, Prince Unathi encouraged those assembled to continue and to increase their work to help their communities, saying “We’re asking for your service. And I am proud of what you have already done.”
Service was also the theme of the presentation by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ellen DeShazer. Judge DeShazer presides over a drug court that diverts individuals charged with nonviolent drug offenses and chronic substance abuse issues out of the local jail and state prison systems and into treatment. “Every day, you should be doing the hard work of changing your neighbor. Start with him and then move on and out,” she said.
The event crowned a day of activities organized by The Way to Happiness Foundation Washington D.C. Chapter that included a community cleanup at Rose Park and Rock Creek Park, removing bottles, cans, trash and painting over graffiti.
The Way to Happiness, written by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, is a moral code based on common sense. More than 100 million copies of The Way to Happiness  have been distributed in 205 countries and territories, providing a moral compass anyone can live by.
Judge DeShazer spoke of the benefit of this booklet in helping to change the lives of others for the better. “I always have copies of The Way to Happiness to give away,” she said. “It is a wonderful book that offers guidance, structure and tools to live by.”
Also featured at the evening’s tribute were humanitarian and community betterment groups including the International Child Art Foundation, Rebecca Project for Human Rights, National Action Network, and National Federation of the Blind.
Nelson Mandela International Day was officially declared by the UN in 2009 and is celebrated annually around the world to honor Nelson Mandela’s life and to mark his birthday with an international call to action promoting peace, equality, diversity, tolerance and mutual respect.