Archbishop Desmond Tutu was born on October 7th, 1931 in Klerksdorp, South Africa. He is a religious leader and a supporter of human rights in South Africa. He fought against apartheid (South Africa's system of racial segregation).
After learning to be a teacher, he began to study theology. He was ordained a priest in 1960. In 1978, Desmond became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, an organization for the churches in South Africa that is part of the World Council of Churches.
Accomplishments for Tolerance
Archbishop Tutu is a model of how to fight for tolerance within African society, and he was an important leader in South Africa's fight against apartheid (the white minority rule of South Africa). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and today continues to speak around the globe for peace and justice.
Tutu was the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1995 to 2003. This South African commission held investigations and conducted hearings on suspected human rights violations that took place during apartheid in South Africa. The purpose of this commission was to encourage forgiveness and healing in South Africa.
Throughout his adult life, Archbishop Tutu has fought for "a democratic and just society without racial divisions," and he continues to fight for:
1. equal civil rights for all
2. the abolition of South Africa's passport laws
3. a common system of education
4. stopping the forced deportation of people from South Africa to their so-called "homelands"
Quotes of Desmond Tutu
"I have given my name to an institution that will foster vision, understanding and the building of bridges."
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."