NORMAL — Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk, former state president of South Africa, will speak next week at Illinois State University on the importance of peaceful resolutions in even the most difficult disputes.
De Klerk's talk, “Bridging the Gap: Globalization Without Isolation,” will be presented at 7 p.m Tuesday at the ISU Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The program is free and open to the public.
It is part of the ISU Speaker Series, which brings innovative and enlightening speakers to campus to provide the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.
Shortly after his election as president in 1989, de Klerk released Nelson Mandela and other leading political prisoners from prison. Mandela and de Klerk were awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their combined efforts to bring reform to South Africa.
He served as state president from 1989 to 1994 and deputy president from 1994 to 1996. While in office, he ended South Africa's discriminatory apartheid laws and presided over its first multiracial elections.
De Klerk is chairman of the Global Leadership Foundation, a group of former leaders from around the world who work on governance and conflict issues in troubled countries.
With stories from his career, de Klerk seeks to inspire listeners with the message that true reform requires courage in the face of resistance.