On November 16, 2020, the Round Table on Black History Month and the Union United Church unveiled a mural in tribute to world leader for peace, social justice, human rights and equality for all, Nelson Mandela. Created in collaboration with organization MU, this mural aims to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s famous visit to Montreal 30 years ago.
The fresco, entitled “Long Walk to Freedom” after Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, was produced by visual artist Franco Égalité, in collaboration with Kevin Ledo. The Union United Church’s wall on Atwater at the corner of Delisle Street will serve as home to the piece.
On June 19, 1990, in the months following his February release earlier that year, Nelson Mandela made a whirlwind three-and-a-half-hour visit to Montreal, one of the first cities in the world to have actively campaigned against apartheid. Invited as part of his global recognition tour, the South African leader visited the Union United Church to greet the congregation. It had been at the forefront of the fight to release ANC (African National Congress) members held as political prisoners and overturn South African apartheid laws. Later, Mandela was received at Montreal City Hall by Mayor Jean Doré. There, Mandela was cheered by nearly 20,000 people gathered behind the building at Place Champ-de-Mars.