Tutu Named BT Honorary Chairman
October 12, 2009
Known as a champion of peace, an inspiration to the global community and a believer in the power of young people, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chair of Building Tomorrow, a nationwide non-profit initiative encouraging philanthropy among students by raising awareness and funds to build and support educational infrastructure for vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.Archibishop Desmond Tutu with Executive Director of BT George Srour
â€œI am honored to serve as the Honorary Chairman of Building Tomorrow,â€ Archbishop Tutu said. â€œI am thrilled to be a part of what Building Tomorrow is achievingâ€¦it is a wonderful thing.â€
Archbishop Tutu, who â€˜never learnt to hateâ€™ and called for civil resistance to years of apartheid in his native South Africa has long recognized the importance of engaging younger generations in societyâ€™s most pressing issues.â€œWhen we were struggling against the viciousness of apartheidâ€¦it was young people at college campuses who accomplished something that was unthinkable.â€ Archbishop Tutu said in a commencement address to The College of William & Maryâ€™s Class of 2006. â€œThey changed the moral climate in this countryâ€¦
â€œ(Today), you are in the forefront of the campaign to make poverty history. You are part of the exhilarating movements for peace.â€â€œ
Archbishop Tutuâ€™s endorsement of Building Tomorrow is a testament to the hard work that students across the country are undertaking to help provide a suitable learning environment for some of the 42 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who donâ€™t have access to education,â€ Building Tomorrow Executive Director George Srour said. â€œWe are humbled by Archbishop Tutuâ€™s acceptance of our invitation.â€
Born in Klerksdorp, South Africa in 1931, Archbishop Tutu taught high school courses for three years before studying theology at his bishopâ€™s urging. Archbishop Tutu was ordained in 1961 and then traveled to England where he received his masterâ€™s degree in theology and later served as Assistant Director of the World Council of Churches. In1978, he became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, a platform he used to denounce apartheid. Tutuâ€™s persistent calls for nonviolent resistance earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. After the countryâ€™s first multi-racial elections of 1994, friend and President Nelson Mandela tapped Archbishop Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commissionâ€”an investigation uncovering 30 years of grave atrocities. In 1985, Tutu was appointed Bishop of Johannesburg and he retired as Archbishop Emeritus in 1996.
Building Tomorrow opened its first school, Meeting Point Kampala, in April 2006 with money collected by college students in the fall of 2004. Since then, the initiative has grown with more than 450 students participating in activities sponsored by nearly ten university chapters across the country. For more information about Building Tomorrow, please visit our Website at www.buildingtomorrow.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.