Founder’s Blog

Oscar-Winner Louis Gossett, Jr.


I had the opportunity to produce and star in the first independent film in South Africa after Nelson Mandela was released from being imprisoned on Robben Island. The movie was called, “Inside.” During that stay, I had the good fortune of being alone with him for approximately fifteen minutes.
I said to him: “The entire world was holding its breath to see what mood you’d be in when you came out of prison after twenty-seven years, and you came out with a smile. How did you manage to do that?”

His answer: “It is a much bigger picture.”

By that statement he helped me to understand the “bigger picture” was the path forward to forgiveness required by his country to heal, instead of him focusing on his own experience and inflaming South Africa to reject reconciliation.

I took his words to heart.

I founded the Eracism Foundation to address the bigger picture by establishing Shamba Centers—“Shamba” is the Swahili word for “farm”—throughout the United States and linked to sister cities in Africa that will offer instruction in cultural diversity, historical enrichment and antiviolence initiatives for young adults, teens and pre-teens to help them understand and eliminate racism by creating a living environment where racism and injustice has difficulty existing.

The salvation of humankind started with the life-affirming culture and traditions first discovered in pre-colonial Africa. That rich history will inform the Shamba Center curriculum.

The salvation of humankind started with the life-affirming culture and traditions first discovered in pre-colonial Africa. That rich history will inform the Shamba Center curriculum. The Eracism Foundation wants every person of African descent—as well as other ethnicities—to be exposed to this powerful, holistic wisdom and to use it peacefully in support of humanity everywhere in the world.

The soup of mankind does not taste half as good without the inclusion of all of its people.

The soup of mankind does not taste half as good without the inclusion of all of its people.

So I have dedicated the last quadrant of my life to this work and to spreading the message of the bigger picture to others—especially the young—which is why I founded the Eracism Foundation. This foundation is focused on creating a society where racism cannot exist.

The answer to racism is eracism.

Louis Gossett, Jr.

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