GKE Task 2: Institutions as Mechanisms of Social/Governmental Change Vivian White
Western Governors University
GKE Task 2: Institutions as Mechanisms of Social/Governmental Change A. Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela became the first president of South Africa in an election that allowed all South African citizens to vote. Shortly after his inauguration, Mandela appointed a cabinet that would represent his county’s diverse political and ethnic groups. He chose members from the African National Congress, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the National party. In addition, he held discussions with the Right Wing Conservative Party and sent one of his associates to talk with the neo-fascist Afrikiner Resistance movement ("HW Wilson Company," 2009, para. 5). These actions resulted in a greater understanding and tolerance among the different political and ethnic groups of South Africa. It also gained Mandela the confidence of South Africa’s more conservative elements ("HW Wilson Company," 2009). In 1999, Nelson Mandela stepped down from the presidency. However, he did not settle into an idle retirement. His interests were now focused on such issues as poverty, AIDs, and human rights. Out of great concern for these issues the “Mandela Foundation” was established. This foundation resulted in the building of clinics and schools among the impoverished, rural regions of South Africa, providing a better opportunity for education and healthcare in remote areas. ("HW Wilson Company," 2009).
B. Martin Luther King, Jr
In 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. She was charged, convicted and fined for breaking segregation laws. In response, Martin Luther King, Jr led the black community in a protest by boycotting busses. More than 50,000 members of the black community stepped up. The boycott lasted 381 days. On December 21, 1956, King’s actions resulted in the Supreme Court changing the law, ending segregation. To celebrate this hard earned victory, that very day, Martin Luther King, Jr. took a ride on a bus. He sat near the front, next to a white man (Sohail, 2005). In 1963, Martin Luther king, Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This march later became known as “the greatest demonstration in freedom in the history of our nation” (Sohail, 2005, p. 17). On this day King also delivered his famous “I have a Dream” (Sohail, 2005, p. 17) speech. The results of this march and speech were a great increase in public awareness of the Civil Rights Movement and with helping pass the Civil rights Act in 1965 (Sohail, 2005).
Nelson Mandela. (2009). Retrieved from Online Biography Reference Bank Sohail, K. (2005). Prophets of Violence, prophets of peace: Understanding the roots of contemporary, political violence. [ebrary book]. Retrieved from http://Irps.wgu.edu