ONE UTEP watches Mandela film on the night of Madiba’s passing

By ONE Campus UTEP President Audrey Russell

The only thing I had on my mind Thursday was food, sleep and surviving yet another project deadline. I was reassured those were probably the same thoughts of any college student during finals week.

That same day of ONE Campus University of Texas El Paso’s (UTEP) screening of “Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom,” the last thing I expected was a phone call that Nelson Mandela had passed away.  

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Instantly, I knew how important and how honored UTEP was to host a screening on that very day.

Nelson Mandela was an inspiration because he was human with struggles and failures and managed to persevere throughout all circumstances for a cause he believed in. The timing of Mandela’s passing and our screening on Thursday was so coincidental that I knew our screening was going to be extremely impactful for all who attended.

ONE has made me feel connected to a world outside my own – an active part of a movement that will change the lives of millions. It’s been my first year as the president of our ONE Campus UTEP chapter, and I can’t even begin to explain how much I’ve learned and have grown throughout just a sole semester.

I’ve seen how being a part of this movement has impacted my friends and chapter members as well, but during the screening for the first time I was overwhelmed with gratitude to be surrounded by a group of people who believed in a cause and were making changes to their world because they we’re brave enough to believe they could.

I’m so thankful to have been in that theater, at that moment, honoring the memory of a man as inspirational as Nelson Mandela. I can’t thank ONE enough for this tremendous prize and opportunity.

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