Mission and Philosophy
The mission of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation (DTPF) is to democratize peacemaking for a new generation of young people and make the world a better place. Our mission and strategy is guided by the concept of Ubuntu. In the words of Desmond Tutu:
“It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, Yu, u nobuntu; hey, so-and-so has Ubuntu. Then you are generous, you are hospitable, and you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. We say a person is a person through other persons. It is not I think therefore I am. It says rather: I am human because I belong, I participate, and I share. A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.”
One of the principal ways we are undertaking our mission is by developing programs that focus on young people. Our programs will use new media and traditional methods to convey to young people the work and wisdom of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, as well as other effective ideas and methods for “living peace” and implementing proven reconciliation and restorative practices.
Author of A New Way to Be Human, New Page Books (2012), Blogger and Inspirational Speaker. Sent to the USA by Archbishop Tutu in 1980 to avoid imprisonment in South Africa; former Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, WA.
Former Chair, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, New York
Rector Emeritus, All Saints Church, Pasadena, CA.
David Catlin Pierce, Ph.D. – Secretary & Executive Committee
Former career U.S. diplomat and refugee coordinator now working in inter-agency crisis response and security/peace-building.
President/CEO/Director of The Rogosin Institute, a clinical care and research facility affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College. Director of the Dreyfus Health Foundation, a division of The Institute, with a mission to unleash human potential to improve health and quality of life around the world.
Dr. Donna Blackwell is the founder of and principal consultant for HumanWorks management consultants, specializing in helping for-profit and not-for-profit corporations and philanthropists with capacity building, strategy, program design, and communications. She is a member of the Executive Committee and the Chairperson of the Program Committee.
Co-Founder, The Tribeca Film Festival and author. Craig also serves as Chairman of Turtle Pond Publications LLC, a private entertainment and media based company in New York. Involved in a number of charitable and civic endeavors in addition to the DTPF, Craig is on the Board of Directors of the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sesame Workshop, Dr. Richard Leakey’s WildlifeDirect, and the Child Mind Institute, among others.
Partner at Global Philanthropy Group. He has advised many of the world’s leading philanthropists including Bill Gates, Bono, President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson, and has experience with the creation and implementation of multiple world-renowned philanthropic initiatives.
Phillip Chase Weatherspoon
Phillip Chase Weatherspoon is a well-respected businessman, a highly successful real estate entrepreneur, an award-winning music producer, an accomplished non-fiction author, a powerful motivational speaker, and a principled family man with a lifelong dedication and commitment to bringing out the best in others. Currently, Phillip serves as President of MyDealPro, a mobile analytics and marketing company. He is the founder and CEO of Bridgepoint Funding Alliance, an international real estate financial solutions company. He also produces music for Reach Global. His latest book, United We Stood: Recapturing The Lessons Learned & Lost In The Aftermath Of 9-11, is currently available.
Brian Sirgutz is the Senior Vice-President of Impact at the Huffington Post Media Group, where he is tasked with turning the HuffPost/AOL platform into one for social change. Prior to this he was the president of Causecast, a pioneering cause marketing technology platform, during which he led the launch of the HuffPost’s award-winning Impact and Education verticals, the largest on the internet for these specific topic areas. In his music industry career, Brian was a partner at NoN Records with Napier founder Shawn Fanning and president of Elementree Records; he was also the manager of recording artist Aaliyah’s estate and non-profit foundation after her untimely passing. He holds a degree from the Gallatin School at New York University.
Ceci Kurzman is President of Nexus Management, the boutique talent representation and consulting company she founded in 2004. As lead executive, Kurzman manages the careers and business development of entertainers, including multiplatinum recording artist Shakira. Kurzman launches and oversees Shakira’s global business interests. Prior to founding Nexus, Kurzman was Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Sony Music, where she led international strategy for priority artists including Sade, Tori Amos, Shakira, Macy Gray, and George Michael. Previously, Kurzman was director of special projects at Arista Records, forming ventures between major brands and clients such as Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan, and Toni Braxton. She also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Barefoot Foundation, Medecins du Monde, and Johnson Publications Company.
Sapreet is the Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, and has been in this role since September 2009. She was a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors for two and a half years prior to joining the organization as staff. Sapreet previously served as the Managing Director of Strategy within the Human Assets team at Teach for America, a national non-profit whose mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort. At Teach for America, Sapreet was responsible for facilitating the formulation and evolution of human capital priorities and strategies covering areas such as compensation, staff retention, organizational strength, and employee satisfaction. She volunteers with the Girl Scouts of the USA and serves as a board member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a 10 million member worldwide movement across 135 countries providing non-formal education where girls and young women develop leadership and life skills through self-development, challenge and adventure. Sapreet is also a member of the National Organization of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, having served as a business volunteer in Uganda and Kenya from 1998-2001. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Fellowship of Activists to Embrace Humanity (fatehworld.org), a human development organization committed to fighting poverty and promoting education in South Asia. Sapreet is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University with a degree in marketing.
Board – Emeritus
Professor of Fashion Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology. A graduate of Fordham University. Board member of Harlem Commonwealth Holdings Co., Inc. Former President of B.R.A.G. (Black Retail Action Group). Member of Women in Development and the American Association of University Women.
Listed in Newsweek for many years as one of America’s “most influential rabbis.” Author of the award-winning book, Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life, he created and was featured in the acclaimed film, Time for a New God, and the Public TV series, Simple Wisdom. A regular on FoxNews.com’s Spirited Debate, he has appeared frequently on NBC’s Today Show, is a blogger for The Huffington Post and The Washington Post’s “On Faith,” and is the President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
Expert in refugee issues and policies as well as human rights and sub-Saharan African history. Founder of two international service learning programs for Seattle University and Marquette University (in Cape Town). The author of Disposable People? The Plight of Refugees and Emmy Award winning producer of Portrait of America. Former Chair of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children.