CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Archbishop Desmond Tutu lectures at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel
Peace Prize and chairman of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
will present a free and public lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 at Carver
The lecture is one of several Global Focus: Human Rights '98 programs,
a UI celebration that began last year in commemoration of the signing of
the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights 50 years ago.
Tutu, bishop of Johannesburg, South Africa, and a former Secretary General
of the South African Council of Churches, was awarded the Nobel Prize for
his efforts to end apartheid, the legally required segregation of South
African blacks and whites and African ethnic groups that began in 1948.
It ended in 1994, when South Africa, in its first democratic presidential
elections elected African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela as president.
Mandela named Tutu as chair of the South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC), a group whose mandate was to investigate abuses committed
by individuals and organizations during the apartheid era. In October 1998
Archbishop Tutu gave Mandela the two-year, 3,500-page report that detailed
some of the most horrid acts by whites who fought to preserve apartheid
and by South Africans who fought against each other for political power.
Today the TRC's findings has not led to the healing that its truths
were intended to bring to South Africans. Tutu has called his time served
on the TRC as "an incredible privilege to have participated in this
process of healing a wounded and traumatized people." Tutu is undergoing
treatment for prostate cancer, but has continued working to make headlines
as a spokesperson against racial injustice. Tutu, like Mandela, has become
a symbol of freedom and energy for human rights activists and apartheid
The 67-year-old Tutu is teaching this year at Emory University in Atlanta,
Ga., at the university's School of Theology and while there, he will write
about his TRC experience.