Archbishop  Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu is best known for his work to end decades  of European racial supremacy in South African politics and create  electoral democracy. Because all previous Cape Town Anglican archbishops  were European, Tutu was the first South African to be appointed to the  post and the primacy of the Anglican Church of South Africa.

Following  the retirement of formal apartheid, Tutu led the country’s Truth and  Reconciliation Commission which granted amnesty from prosecution to  anyone who confessed crimes to maintain or fight the Whitesupremacist  regime. But it was his early struggles for justice that won him, in  1984, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu  continues to speak for peace and justice, including about ecological  devastation in Alberta’s tar sands, the occupation of Palestine, and the  international campaign to cure HIV/AIDS and help all afflicted by the  disease. He’s the author or co-author of nine books, including No Future without Forgiveness, God is Not a Christian, and God Has a Dream.

Tutu and his wife Leah founded the non-profit Desmond Tutu  Peace Centre, which works to create “a society that nurtures tolerance  and understanding amongst all people and is guided by … the building  blocks for sustainable peace: Love, Hope, Tolerance, and Courage.”

He  spoke in Edmonton at the Jubilee Auditorium for the first annual  University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights on November  29, 1998. He discussed the horrors of apartheid, the racial divide in US  culture, the link between racism and homophobia + sexism, and the power  of youth to change the world.

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A warning: the beginning of Tutu’s comments includes a disturbing description of police torture and murder during apartheid.




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