Humanitarian Wall

Humanitarian Wall

The Humanitarian Wall at WISE is a unique tribute to many of the famous names throughout history which are synonymous with the fight for emancipation and freedom.

Aung San Suu Kyi (1945--)
Burmese opposition leader and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD). Placed under house arrest from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2003 until her latest release on 13 November 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners. In 2013 announced that she will run for the presidency in Burma’s 2015 elections.

Steve Biko (1946-77)
South Africa anti-apartheid activist and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, which sought to empower and mobilise the urban black population in South Africa. Died in police custody in Pretoria in 1977.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45)
German Protestant theologian who became an outspoken critic of Nazism and was hanged for his role in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. His writings, among them The Cost of Discipleship (1937), had a profound impact on the development of post-war ethics and theology.

Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846)
British abolitionist who worked closely with William Wilberforce in the early campaign to abolish the British slave trade. His Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species (1786), which he wrote while still a student at Cambridge, is considered one of the landmark texts in the development of British abolitionism in the late eighteenth century.

Frederick Douglass (1818-95)
Former slave who became one of the great American anti-slavery leaders. In 1845 he published his memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, one of the first American slave narratives and now considered an American classic.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963)
Leading black intellectual and African-American activist, Du Bois was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909, the oldest and largest civil rights organisation in the United States.

Olaudah Equiano (1745-97)
Ex-slave who purchased his freedom and worked as a merchant and explorer in South America, the Caribbean, the Arctic, the American colonies and Britain, where he settled in 1792. His autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) is one of the earliest examples of published writing by an African and the first influential slave narrative.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Leader of the Indian National Congress who in 1947 participated in the post-war negotiations that led to Indian independence. Best known for his advocacy of non-violent protest, which had an impact on black civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King. 

Toussaint L’Ouverture (c. 1743-1803)
Haitian patriot who joined the Haitian Revolution in 1791 and became its foremost general, defeating both French and British forces. In 1802 he was betrayed and captured and subsequently died imprisoned in France.

Martin Luther King (1929-68)
African-American civil rights activist and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. During the 1950s and 1960s he became the public face of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and is perhaps best remembered for his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in Washington, DC in 1963. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
16th US President who in 1863 issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation, which paved the way for the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Nelson Mandela  (1918-2014)
The most prominent leader in the struggle of South African blacks against apartheid who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1961 for sabotage and conspiracy by the white minority government of South Africa. Released in 1990, Mandela went on to be elected South Africa’s president in the nation’s first all-race elections.  Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Jose Marti (1853-95)
Cuban revolutionary leader and poet who was killed while fighting for Cuban independence from Spain.

Edmund Dene Morel (1873-1924)
British journalist and author who led the campaign against slavery in the Belgian Congo (1900-1913).

Tom Paine (1737-1809)
British radical and publicist who advocated American independence and defended the French Revolution. Author of Common Sense (1776) and The Rights of Man (1791).

Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960)
British suffragist who later devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism. Author of The Suffragette: The History of the Women’s Militant Suffrage Movement (1911).

Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
African-American civil rights activist and ‘mother of the freedom movement’ who in December 1955 refused to give up her seat in a ‘whites only’ section of a segregated bus, an action that triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56).

Granville Sharp (1735-1813)
British abolitionist and founder of the Sierra Leone Company who in 1772 successfully fought to defend the right of blacks in Britain not to be forced overseas into bondage against their will.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
American writer whose novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) is probably the most famous piece of anti-slavery literature published during the nineteenth century.

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)
Ex-slave who helped hundreds of American slaves escape along the secret route to freedom known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War she also served the Union as a scout, spy and nurse.

Desmond Tutu (1931-)
South African prelate and leader in the anti-apartheid struggle who became a prominent advocate of international economic sanctions against South Africa. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Raoul Wallenberg (1912-47)
Swedish diplomat and businessman who is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Second World War.

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
MP for Hull and Yorkshire who led the parliamentary campaign against slavery and the slave trade.

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