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    What’s in a year? 2016 highlights from the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

    December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016

What’s in a year? 2016 highlights from the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

As we prepare for what is sure to be an exciting new year, we love to take the opportunity to appreciate all of the accomplishments we have achieved at the Foundation – accomplishments that are due the exceptional efforts and generosity of our supporters, staff and friends. From revolutionary digital experiences to inspiring a major world city, the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation is thrilled to share some of the highlights from our year…

We debuted Tutu: Then and Now, a photo exhibition.


After more than a year of planning, we debuted the Tutu: Then and Now photography exhibition at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. The photo exhibit features the works of two South African photojournalists, Sumaya Hisham and Eric Miller and spans a period of thirty years of the Archbishop’s life – from his work during the Apartheid era to his acclaimed work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with Nelson Mandela, to his peace and justice work since his “retirement” in 2010.


Tutu: Then and Now exhibit set up in the newly renovated St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan.

The exhibition was held in Manhattan’s historic St. Paul’s Chapel and hosted 1000-1500 people daily.

We went live with Facebook to celebrate #TutuAt85.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivers the Eucharist at St. Paul’s Chapel on the morning of his 85th birthday.


Archbishop Tutu pauses to weep during the Eucharist on his 85th birthday.

Thanks to the generosity of Facebook, we were able to do something remarkable on the Archbishop’s 85th birthday. We were able to use Facebook Live to share ALL of the days festivities with an audience across the globe AND we were able to involve them in the festivities as they were able to join the conversations and wish the Archbishop a “Happy Birthday”.
From Cape Town to Los Angeles, the events were broadcast live. The Archbishop trended across social media platforms in countries all over the world and the day also marked a first for tech giant Facebook as the Archbishop’s birthday morning eucharist marked the first time a major church service had ever been streamed live to the site.

Our Peace3 program expanded…


Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth speaks to a sold out crowd at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation welcomed one of the Archbishop’s daughters, the Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth to Southern California for our Peace3 programming. Unfortunately, her visit was cut short due to a surgery the Archbishop was having but she was able to give a lecture that we arranged on the Peace and our connection to the environment at Deepak Chopra’s Sages & Scientists.

and Peace3 went international…


Peace leaders from across Haiti came together in the coastal town of Jacmel to learn how to host their own Peace Conferences.

Continuing our partnership with the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College, we returned to Jacmel, Haiti for the Jacmel Peace Conference – this year creating a training for peace leaders to be able to host their own conference and, using the Peace3 concept as an outline, our partners at the Valencia Peace and Justice Institute developed a workbook for leading Peace Seminars.

Peace3 inspired youth through song…

We sponsored the work of NegusWorld, an organization working to inspire young people to make change through hip-hop. Through their work with NegusWorld and DTPF, the brother-sister duo of TatuVision came together with Stoney Creation to create Peace3, a song inspired by DTPF’s main program of Peace3 – Peace Within; Peace Between; Peace Among.

And we loved it so much, we gave a little something back…


The kids from NegusWorld spend some time with Quincy Jones backstage at Desmond Tutu’s birthday celebration in Los Angeles.

Inspired by the kids’ dedication to promoting Peace3, we invited them to be part of the birthday celebrations for the Archbishop where they performed the song live, and had the opportunity to meet and learn from the legendary Quincy Jones.

And Peace3 combined with the Tutu: Then and Now photo exhibition inspired a new program…


Photographer Sumaya Hisham leads the #TutuInspiresNYC photography workshop for the students of Leadership and Public Service High School of New York.

With the help of our amazing photographers, the team at Trinity Church Wall Street, and the staff and students of Leadership and Public Service High School in New York, we launched our newest program, “Tutu Inspires…”. Created as a workshop to accompany the Tutu: Then and Now exhibit, our debut was with #TutuInspiresNYC and teaches youth to use photography as a tool to tell their own story, rather than have others tell it for them.

The work of the students amazed! Click on the gallery links above for a sample or see al lof the students’ photos on the Instawall created in partnership with Instagram to support this project at https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/tutuinspiresnyc/

We had so many, many more accomplishments – great and small – this year, but more than anything else, in this year marking Archbishop Tutu’s 85th birthday…

We celebrated!

We celebrated his birthday in Cape Town where friends and family from across the world came together to wish him a Happy Birthday…

Arch presented with a birthday cake by his grandchildren.

Arch presented with a birthday cake by his grandchildren.

…and we celebrated his birthday in Los Angeles where the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation through a Tribute Concert to honor the Arch and bring together friends of his who couldn’t make the trip to South Africa.


Legendary Quincy Jones pays tribute to his friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Unity celebration concert in Los Angeles.


Members of Fishbone and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones perform live for at the Archbishop’s birthday tribute concert.

Some of the celebrations took a serious tone…

Human rights champion, Advocate Hina Jilani delivers the 6th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the Artscape Theatre. Photo: Sumaya Hisham

Human rights champion, Advocate Hina Jilani delivers the 6th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture at the Artscape Theatre.
Photo: Sumaya Hisham

But of course, we always celebrated with JOY!


Desmond Tutu teaching the Dalai Lama to dance.

DTPF joined the Archbishop, the Dalai Lama, Doug Abrams and the Book of Joy team to promote The Book of Joy. The response to this book has been overwhelming and has now been on the New York Times Bestseller list for TEN WEEKS!

As we wrap up 2016, we are faced with excitement for new opportunities to come in 2017. As we plan for new exciting Peace3 events across North America, as we explore new venues cities for Tutu Inspires, and as we hold on to the lessons that the Archbishop has given us for how to move forward in this world, we do so with the knowledge that in 2017, it is imperative that all of us make an impact that is bigger than ever by being compassionate, collaborative, innovative, strong and by having our voice heard.

The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation is funded completely by donations. It is with the help of generous, inspired, and passionate individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations that we are able to do the work we do. By clicking the link below, you are not just giving a gift, you are standing up to help us help young people find their voices and share them with the world.

Please donate today to help us spread peace education and the legacy of Desmond Tutu to people throughout the United States and around the world with a U.S. tax-deductible donation. Thanks in advance for your generosity.




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