For Immediate Release

Contact: Deborah Gilleran
732.987.2266
dgilleran@georgian.edu

Human Rights Activist to Speak at GCU for Women’s History Month

Naomi Tutu, Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Will Share Her Experience

Lakewood, N.J., Feb. 17, 2009—Join Georgian Court in a celebration of Women’s History Month on Tuesday, March 10, with headline speaker Naomi Tutu, human rights activist. The lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Casino on the Lakewood campus. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and free to members of the GCU community with ID. Reservations are required by contacting the Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or specialevents@georgian.edu.

About Naomi Tutu
 The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa has led Naomi Tutu to her present role as an activist for human rights. Her experiences have taught her how much we all lose when any of us is judged purely on physical attributes.

The third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, she was born in South Africa and has also lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She was educated in Swaziland, the United States, and England, and has divided her adult life between South Africa and the US. Growing up the “daughter of …” has offered her many opportunities and challenges in her life. Most important of these has been the challenge to find her own place in the world. She has taken up the challenge and channeled the opportunities that she has been given to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all.

Ms. Tutu has served as a development consultant in West Africa and a program coordinator for programs on Race and Gender and Gender-Based Violence in Education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. She has also taught at the University of Hartford, the University of Connecticut, and Brevard College.

Ms. Tutu began her public speaking as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970s when she was invited to speak at churches, community centers, and colleges and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. Since that time she has become a much sought-after speaker for groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials, and church and civic organizations. In her speeches, she blends the passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

She has also led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict. Together with Rose Bator she presents a workshop titled “Building Bridges: Dealing with Issues of Race and Racism.” The two also lead women’s retreats through their organization, Sister Sojourner. They are also writing a book, I Don’t Think of You as Black: Honest Conversations on Race and Racism.

Ms. Tutu is a consultant to two organizations that reflect the breadth of her involvement in issues of human rights, including the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence, founded by renowned author Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Betty Williams, and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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