News & Updates
Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation
October 6, 2011
An active global citizen who embodies the values and virtues that the world needs now, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has chosen to stand up for the vulnerable. He has chosen to speak out against injustice. He has chosen to confront those who provide poor leadership. He has been committed to the values of environmental sustainability and he has galvanized a whole generation of activists to work for good environmental stewardship and an end to poverty.
Archbishop Tutu’s birthday celebrations have been marred, as his friend and fellow Nobel laureate, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama was unable to attend. The South African government failed to issue the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa, in what critics say was a move to placate China, a major trading partner.
In typical fashion, Tutu was vocal in his criticism of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), vowing to pray for its downfall, just as he did for the demise of the Apartheid government in the 1980’s. He summarized the situation by saying, “We betrayed our struggle. All the people involved in our struggle are turning in their graves.”
Still an Untiring Activist
Desmond Tutu continues his activism and rarely refrains from criticizing the South African government’s policies, whether on HIV/AIDS or the ANC’s dominance of politics.
His concern for human rights and democracy extends beyond his own country. He demands freedom for the people of Myanmar and promotes the rights of Palestinians, often irking pro-Israel lobby groups. His latest campaign, championed through The Elders, a group of fellow global leaders, is to ban child marriage wherever it is practiced. Under Archbishop Tutu’s leadership, people around the world have grown up, and now demand an end to ancient, primitive practices that are widely abhorred, like child marriage.
The Tutu Legacy
Recently, Rev Mpho Tutu, the youngest daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, returned to South Africa to become the founding director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The foundation will preserve his papers, regulate the use of his name and continue to provide an honest commentary on moral issues.
Across the world, people of all religions, races, ages, ideologies and social classes have been touched directly or indirectly by Desmond Tutu. They have been impacted by his actions. Their lives have been changed by his choices. Even now his legacy continues, influencing generations to come.
Desmond Tutu is a leader who has elevated truth to its rightful place at the top of the list of human virtues. Without seeking the truth and always speaking the truth, even in the face of danger, we cannot know courage or effect the changes needed for survival. Archbishop Tutu reaches out now, as he always has, to the new generation with his powerful, timeless message of global peace. His example is one of showing that to pursue this noble goal takes a tireless commitment to, and a deep respect for, all life. People around the world can join in celebrating our great good fortune of Desmond Tutu’s birth and remarkable life of 80 years so far. May the future bless us with his presence, wisdom,and inspirational leadership for years to come.
October 6, 2011
Nothing else in the world…not all the armies…is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
To be a leader—to have leadership qualities—is a characteristic that people can generally recognize when they see it. When you think of a leader, what is the first quality that comes to mind…that she/he is powerful? Inspirational? A visionary for change? Courageous? Intelligent? Authentic? Has integrity? Competent? Lives by high moral standards? Ethical? Tolerant? Compassionate? The transformational leaders in the 21st Century will be focused on global peace, and to attain that golden goal, leaders will not be interested in having power over others. Instead, leaders will seek to inspire the cultures of the globe by practicing Ethical Leadership, making tolerance and respect among all societies the top priority. These leaders will help people learn to find the power within themselves so they will no longer fear their neighbors and instead build bridges of cooperation and trust. When a total commitment is made to tolerance and respect within each culture as well as among all societies, world peace will at last be achieved. The transformational leaders who emerge, whether within one of the hundreds of cultures around the world, or upon the world stage, will model the ethics, or standards, shared by all humankind–the first being to live in peace made possible through tolerance and respect for others. Great leaders will Walk the Walk.
The Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation believes that among young people around the world today, there are many men and women for whom the vision of world peace is unquestioned as the only path forward. Dr. Tutu has said that “The young people of today are the best hope we have for transforming cultures of war and violence into cultures of peace and prosperity. By providing people, ages 15-25, with interactive and stimulating opportunities to learn about and embrace moral and ethical practices, they are more likely to engage in and foster the principles of non-violence, equality, compassion and integrity in their societies.” These leaders will reflect a kind of spiritual pragmatism where many spiritual concepts come together with the shared values of compassion, tolerance, respect, and love for all living things—and the belief in and support for global Peace. Together we can create a world that, while gloriously diverse, maintains a standard of living for all where no person will want for food, shelter, education, and dreams of a future that will be realized.
The new leaders coming of age now have among their role models Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, three of the most influential peacemakers the world has ever known. The great legacy of these extraordinary people will be the Ethical Leadership of each, which results in the end of war and violence, and transforms life on Earth as humanity reaches the Golden Goal of Global Peace.