Human-Rights Activist Naomi Tutu, Daughter of Famed Anti-Apartheid Activist Desmond Tutu, To Speak at IU Northwest on Thursday, Feb. 4

By: Indiana University Northwest Last Updated: January 25, 2010

Event kicks off annual Black History Month observances at IU Northwest

On Thursday, Feb. 4, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Savannah Auditorium, Indiana University Northwest will host internationally recognized teacher, speaker and human-rights activist Naomi Tutu, daughter of famed South African anti-apartheid activist and Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The event is the first in a series of programs hosted by the university as part of its annual Black History Month observances.

Naomi Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Born in South Africa, she has also lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States. Naomi Tutu was educated in Swaziland, the United States and England, and has divided her adult life between South Africa and America. Growing up as the “daughter of Desmond Tutu” has offered Naomi many opportunities and challenges in her life, and she has used those opportunities as a way to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all people.

Naomi Tutu has served as a development consultant in West Africa and as a 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 also taught at the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut and at Brevard College. Naomi Tutu is also a consultant to two organizations that reflect the breadth of her involvement in issues of human rights: the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence, founded by renowned author Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Betty Williams, and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also coauthoring a book entitled “I Don’t Think of You as Black: Honest Conversations on Race and Racism,” with Rose Bator.

Naomi Tutu began her public speaking career as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970s, when she was invited to speak at churches, community groups, colleges, and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. Since then, Naomi Tutu has become a much-sought-after speaker for business associations, professional conferences, elected officials, and church and civic organizations. In her speeches, Naomi blends her passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

Naomi Tutu’s father is Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose activism against apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s galvanized world opinion and helped lead to the dismantlement of that unjust social system. Desmond Tutu continues to write and speak on issues related to human rights in South Africa and elsewhere, even as his daughter Naomi works to make her own positive impact in her native country, on the African continent, and across the world.

Indiana University Northwest is pleased to welcome Naomi Tutu to Northwest Indiana for what promises to be a thoughtful and engaging program. Doors to Savannah open at 5:15 p.m. Light refreshments will be served after the program. This event is free and open to the public.

Naomi Tutu’s appearance is sponsored by the IU Northwest Diversity Programming Series, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of Diversity Programming. For more information, contact Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Henrietta Moore at (219) 980-6763.