Activist Zackie Achmat on will discuss the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln at the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts’ Great Texts / Big Questions public lecture on 13 August 2010.
Zackie Achmat is a South African activist against AIDS and the founder and chairman of Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an organization dedicated to no-cost treatment for HIV-infected South Africans. Achmat is one of the most high profile activists in the country and has publically refused to take anti-retroviral medicines until they are made available by the government in public hospitals and clinics. Achmat one of the founders of the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality – which campaigned for the equality clause in the Constitution, the decriminalization of same-sex practices and the equal right of lesbian and gay relationships. In 2001, Achmat was given the inaugural Desmond Tutu Leadership Award and the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2003. During that same year he received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. He was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2003, and he was named one of TIME Europe’s “Heroes of 2003″. In 2004 he was voted 61st in the Top 100 Great South Africans and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a U.S. Quaker humanitarian group called the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).