You may have seen the email I sent the other day about an amazing lunch-time event 9th judicial subcircuit judge candidate Megan Goldish and I are hosting tomorrow (Saturday, March 15th).
Rogers Park resident Soraya Sheppard (right), a South African human rights activist who risked her freedom in the fight against the brutal apartheid regime, will share her story of struggle. She will also showcase some of the rare apartheid-era artwork by South African artists, hidden away for years and only recently discovered.
Please join us tomorrow (Saturday, March 15th), 12 noon,for a complimentary lunch at the Ethiopian Diamond II Restaurant, 7537 N. Clark St.
After I sent the first email, Soraya wrote Megan a heartfelt note. She has given me permission to share it with you:
“As I prepare for this weekend I am completely overwhelmed with emotions as I reflect on where my journey has led me today. As a single mother of 2 beautiful daughters at 26 years of age, I wanted my children to be spared the scars of oppression. So, I was forced to choose between a life of oppression and fear in South Africa or a life of freedom in another land. The latter led me to Washington DC.
“I made a promise that I would only return when Nelson Mandela was a free man. I also promised that someday. I would return to make a difference. I had no idea what it would look like.
“Since December 2011, my life hasn’t been the same. This would be the first time that I will be speaking about my experiences living in apartheid South Africa to a large audience. I realized also that our voices have never been heard. The freedom to speak out against the regime was treason and the fear of the consequences still live within us today.
“So, I want to thank you for reaching out in support of my effort to help highlight the greed and economic injustice that’s still perpetrated in South African and our efforts to help rebuild the new South Africa by highlighting the beauty that exists among the ruins.”
Sonya will be joined by fellow South African native,Thabo Mzilikazi–known by his artist name Jabu. Together they fought against seemingly impossible odds to help win the right to vote for non-White South Africans. Both used art to protest apartheid, and are working hard to bring this long-suppressed artwork to larger audiences.
Megan and I are honored to host Soraya and Jabu. This will be a very special event. We want as many people as possible to hear their story, see some inspiring artwork, and sample some of the excellent African dishes prepared by the Ethiopian Diamond.
Following the luncheon, we hope you will be inspired by their story to vote early at the 49th Ward early voting site at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers, located just three blocks steps from the restaurant.
Regardless of which candidates you support, please exercise your own right to vote. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 18th (Polls open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Early voting is available now through Saturday, March 15th (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day) at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers Avenue in Chicago.
More information on early voting and Election Day polling place locations can be found athttp://www.chicagoelections.com/.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!