Who We Are
About Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric who became one of the central leaders of the global peace movement. An outspoken defender of human rights and campaigner for the oppressed, Tutu’s eloquent advocacy and brave leadership lead to the end of South African apartheid in 1993 and the installation of Nelson Mandela as the nation’s first black President. The Archbishop has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace, equality and forgiveness. In his role as global peace maker, Tutu earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts and now devotes his time with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation USA teaching youth the powerful role and voice they play in creating a more compassionate and peaceful world. The Archbishop released a new book, The Book of Forgiving, in March 2014, with daughter Mpho Tutu.
About the Foundation
We are the only foundation in the United States incorporated by Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu. Our mission is to inspire young people to build a world of peace within themselves, peace between people, and peace among nations. Our programs are based on the teachings of the Archbishop who has dedicated his life to reshaping conversations about peace, equality, and forgiveness. The philosophy of Ubuntu guides us with its meaning of We are all connected. What affects one of us affects us all.
Using Desmond Tutu’s life and teachings to inspire young people to build a world of peace within, peace between and peace among.
A world in which everyone values human dignity and our interconnectedness.
Real peace will prevail when there is a culture of peace in the USA and around the world. That culture originates in the hearts and minds of our youth, the future leaders and peace makers of the world.
The Philosophy of Ubuntu
The work of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation is grounded in the philosophy of Ubuntu:
The Challenge: The Prevalence of Violence in America
Young people are exposed to more violence today than ever before. According to a recent study from ChildTrends.org, 60% of youth were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly as victims, or indirectly as witnesses.* From bullying and domestic violence to shootings and cyber stalking, they see it in their homes, in their schools, in their communities and in their nation. Young people exposed to violence are at increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, dropping out of school, depression and health problems.
A solution exists to address this crisis. If armed with the tools to navigate through this complex and volatile world, we can reverse these trends among our youth turning victims into peace makers. One need not win a Nobel Peace Prize like Archbishop Desmond Tutu or risk a life like youth advocate Malala Yousafzai to be a Peace Maker. Each of us either contributes to peace, or lack of peace. Our lives are part of the ripple effect. It is up to us what ripple we want to pass along.
As the next generation of leaders, artists, scientists, social activists and entrepreneurs, the future of peace rests in the hands of our young people. According to recent studies, today’s youth are more socially aware and willing to make a difference in the world. By giving them the tools and teaching them the concepts and ways of compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, they can become catalysts for change in their own lives, communities and the entire world.