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Sept. 15 University Forum to Feature Prominent Social Justice Activist, Daughter of Famed South African Anti-Apartheid Leader

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 15:36pm | By: David Tisdale

Rev. Nontombi Naomi TutuOn Sept. 15, the Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Missioner for Racial and Economic Equity at the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, N.C., will speak as part of the University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) University Forum speaker series, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Her presentation is titled “Truth & Reconciliation: Healing Wounds.”

This fall, all four University Forum programs will be entirely online.

Rev. Tutu is the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid activist who won the Noble Prize for Peace in 1984, and as a child she saw first-hand the hardships of racial discrimination. After getting a bachelor’s degree at Berea College in Kentucky and master’s degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Economic Development at the University of Kentucky, she has dedicated herself to seeking race, gender, and economic equality in the United States and abroad.

Rev. Tutu has worked extensively with the non-profit organizations, including the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has served as a program coordinator for the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University. Drawing on her experiences growing up in South Africa, her education in the United States, and her years of work on race and gender issues, Naomi Tutu has become a leading advocate for racial tolerance.

“In public opinion polls, more and more Americans have acknowledged the hardships that Black and brown Americans continue to suffer as a legacy of America’s history of racism,” said University Forum director and USM History professor Dr. Andrew Haley. “But even as we acknowledge that history, we remain divided over where to look for solutions. Reverend Tutu believes the answers can be found in a forthright and honest dialogue. I’m very glad that University Forum can bring that conversation to southern Mississippi.”

Presented by the USM Honors College, University Forum is free and open to everyone. To learn how to participate online for these fall 2020 University Forum events, visit