You gotta believe

Methodist minster Alexander Boraine

Methodist minister Alexander Boraine kept the faith throughout the apartheid era. He shares his thoughts on democracy in the Penn Humanities Forum’s opening lecture Sept. 30.

Throughout the decades of apartheid, few outside South Africa—and probably not many more inside it—believed that the day would ever come when the black majority and the white minority would live as equals in a democratic society.

Alexander Boraine was one of those few. His work to end apartheid led Nelson Mandela to appoint him deputy chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which won acclaim for its efforts to seek justice without vindictiveness for the victims of apartheid.

Now an adjunct professor at New York University, Boraine will speak at Penn on Sept. 23 in the opening lecture of the Penn Humanities Forum’s year-long series of programs on the subject of “Belief” (see “Out and About”). His talk will be on a subject with which he is very familiar—“Belief in Democracy.”

— S.S.

“BELIEF IN DEMOCRACY”: Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 200, College Hall, Locust Walk between 34th and 36th streets. Registration required; see for details. Info on Penn Humanities Forum events: or 215-898-8220.

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Originally published on September 18, 2003