Naomi Tutu Speaks at Community Breakfast, Part of Events Celebrating MLK

Naomi Tutu

By Tina Underwood, Contributor

Race and gender justice activist Nontombi Naomi Tutu will speak Friday, Jan. 12 during a Community Breakfast celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The breakfast begins at 8 a.m., with the program following at 8:30 a.m. in the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center on the Furman University campus.

Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Tutu will present “Truth & Reconciliation: Healing the Wounds of Racism.” Her talk is part of “Building the Beloved Community,” a series of events honoring MLK.

The Community Breakfast featuring Tutu is open to the public and is sponsored by Furman’s Center for Inclusive Communities, and the Community Relations office. Tickets are $50 per person.

The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa have been the foundation of Naomi Tutu’s life as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught her that the whole of humanity suffers when situations of oppression are accepted, and when the teaching of hate and division prevail.

Tutu’s message blends a passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories. The third child of Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, Naomi Tutu was born in South Africa, has lived in many communities and countries, and was educated in Swaziland, the U.S. and England.

Growing up as daughter of Archbishop Tutu has offered Naomi Tutu many opportunities and challenges, most notably the charge to follow her own path and role in building a better world. She has taken on the mantle of serving as champion for the dignity of all by using her voice.

Dividing her adult life between South Africa and the U.S., Tutu has worked as a development consultant in West Africa and has coordinated programs on race and gender and gender-based violence in education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. Tutu has also taught at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut, and Brevard College in North Carolina. She served as program coordinator for the Race Relations Institute at historic Fisk University (Nashville), and was a part of the Institute’s delegation to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

Other Furman events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. follow. All events are free and open to the public except the Jan. 7 Scholarship Gala and the Jan. 12 Community Breakfast.

Building the Beloved Community 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
A partnership between Furman University and
Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Jan. 7-Feb. 17, 2018
Furman University


2018 Martin Luther King, Jr.  Scholarship Gala, Sunday, Jan. 7, 3 p.m.
Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center
Sponsor: Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation,
Tickets:  $60 per person
Contact: Allen Cook, or 864-380-5781

MLK Community Breakfast: Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Friday, Jan. 12, 8 a.m.
“Truth & Reconciliation: Healing the Wounds of Racism”
Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center
Tickets: $50 per person
For table or ticket information email or RSVP at 864-294-3464

MLK Holiday – A Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 15, 8:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m., Breakfast and check-in at Trone Student Center
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Service at various locations
Sponsor: Heller Service Corps, the Center for Inclusive Communities, and Fraternity and Sorority Life
Contact: Nancy Cooper, or 864-294-2900

2017 Martin Luther King Youth Program and Rudolph Gordon College Fair, Saturday, Feb. 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Burgiss Theater and Watkins Room, Trone Student Center
Sponsor: Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation,
Contact: Bobby Clark, or 864-441-9067

Joseph Vaughn Oratorical Contest, Saturday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“The Next Civil Rights Movement: What Direction Should It Take?”
Springfield Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall
Sponsor: Alpha Phi Alpha Greenville Foundation,
Contact: Mike Chatham, or 864-906-7078

For more information, call 864-294-2503 or email Or visit Furman’s MLK website at More information about Naomi Tutu may be found


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