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Reverend Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Race & Gender Justice Activist
Rev. Tutu is the third child Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Born in South Africa but having lived in many communities and countries. She was educated in Swaziland, the US and England, and has divided her adult life between South Africa and the US. Growing up the ‘daughter of …’ has offered Naomi Tutu many opportunities and challenges in her life. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges she has struggled with is the call to ministry. From early life she would say, “I have my father’s nose, I do not want his job!” Yet this call refused to be silenced. As she carried her passion for justice into other fields, the call to preach and serve as an ordained clergyperson continued to tug at her. Finally, in her 50’s she responded to the call and went to seminary.
She started her public speaking as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970’s when she was invited to speak at churches, community groups and colleges and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. Since that time, she has become a speaker to groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials and church and civic organizations.
Rev. Tutu is the recipient of four honorary doctorates from universities and colleges in the US and Nigeria. She is an ordained clergyperson in the Episcopal Church, USA. She is the Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, CA. She is the single mother of two daughters and a son.