Naomi Tutu to speak on wounds of racism

For immediate release: Feb. 26, 2013

BLOOMSBURG — The challenges of growing black and female in apartheid South Africa inspired Nontombi Naomi Tutu to become an activist for human rights. She will share her message, “Truth and Reconciliation: Healing the Wounds of Racism,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Haas Center for the Arts. The lecture, presented by BU’s Multicultural Center, is open to the public free of charge.

Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Her father, a social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, rose to prominence in the 1980s as an opponent to apartheid. Recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, Desmond Tutu delivered BU’s commencement address in December 1996 and received an honorary doctorate.

Born in South Africa, Naomi Tutu was educated in Swaziland, the United States and England, and today lives in South Africa and the U.S. She said growing up as the daughter of Desmond Tutu offered opportunities which she used as a champion of dignity for all. The title of her speech relates to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, established to grant amnesty to individuals who confess human rights violations during apartheid. Her father has chaired the committee.

Naomi Tutu taught at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut and Brevard College in North Carolina. She also worked as a development consultant in West Africa and coordinator for programs on race and gender and gender-based violence in education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. She has led truth and reconciliation workshops for groups dealing with conflict and is a co-presenter of the workshop, “Building Bridges,” dealing with issues of race and racism.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. BU serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.