Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, to express support for his work and leadership in the South African Council of Churches as well as a way to honor all South Africans with concern for human dignity, fraternity, and democracy.* In 1986, Tutu became the Archbishop of Cape Town, once again being the first black African to hold this position. With his gaining renown and several positions as a religious leader, the South African government was forced to reform. 1991 saw the annulment of discriminatory laws particular to Apartheid. Archbishop Tutu was appointed the chair of Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1994 by Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa at the time.** Tutu retired from being Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996, and took on the name Archbishop Emeritus.
On his 79th birthday, October 7, 2010, Archbishop Tutu retired from his public life. (Click here for a New Yorks Times article on Tutu's retirement.)
Desmond Tutu campaigned not only for human rights, but also for environmental rights and health problems. He especially supported the containment of tuberculosis and HIV.
Why did Archbishop Tutu catch our attention? This was because of his outstanding leadership. He was extremely vocal, and protested peacefully. He was not afraid to speak up for what he believed was right, and did not fear the opinions of people and groups in power. He even dared to criticize the United Nations for supporting Indonesia in conquering West Papua, for he considered this another act of oppression -- which he had fought so hard against in South Africa. Desmond Tutu proves that not all reforms must be violent, and through devotion to one’s cause, people will hear you.
~Clare Zhou, Jacquelyn Ho, and Linda Qin
1."Boer Wars." Newworldencycolpedia.org. New World Encyclopedia. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Boer_Wars.
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3. "Colonization in South Africa." Country Facts and Information. 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 06 May 2012. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/South-Africa/Colonization-in-South-Africa/4013.
4. Laing, Aislinn. "Archbishop Desmond Tutu Retires from Public Life." Telegraph (2010). Web. 6 May 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ southafrica/7904985/Archbishop-Desmond-Tutu-retires-from-public-life.html.
5. "Desmond Tutu." Famous People. Web. 08 May 2012. http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/desmond-tutu-75.php.
6. "Africa :: South Africa." The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 8 May 2012. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html.
7. "Recent History of South Africa." SomaliPress.com. 29 Dec. 2010. Web. 08 May 2012. http://www.somalipress.com/south-africa-overview/recent-history-south-africa-1126.html.
8. "Obama Presents 16 with Presidential Medal of Freedom." CNN. 12 Aug. 2009. Web. 14 May 2012. http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-12/politics/medal.of.freedom_1_presidential-medal-breast-cancer-health-care?_s=PM:POLITICS.
9. A Long Night's Journey into Day. Dir. Deborah Hoffmann and Frances Reid. Perf. Mary Burton, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and Mongezi Manqina. Reid-Hoffmann Productions, 2001. Film.