Nontombi Naomi Tutu

2015 Burlington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Unitarian Church
Burlington, VT

The Greater Burlington Multicultural Center welcomes Nontombi Naomi Tutu, Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Vivienne Deane Gospel Ensemble from Montreal

FREE Tickets available at Fletcher Free Library and City Market

Info: 802-657-4219

Monday Speakers

Monday, January 19, Noon
Burlington City Hall

Donisha Prendergast
Granddaughter of Bob & Rita Marley

Attorney Jasmine Rand
Vermonter, Represented the Trayvon Martin Family

About Nontombi Naomi Tutu

The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa have been the foundation of Naomi’s life as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught her that our whole human family loses when we accept situations of oppression, and how the teaching and preaching of hate and division injure us all. In her speeches she blends this passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

Ms Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. She was born in South Africa and had the opportunity to live 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. Most important of these has been the challenge to follow her own path and role in building a better 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.

Her professional experience ranges from being a development consultant in West Africa, to being 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. In addition Ms Tutu has taught at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut and Brevard College in North Carolina. She served as Program Coordinator for the historic Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, and was a part of the Institute’s delegation to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban.

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 much sought after speaker to groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials, and church and civic organizations.

As well as speaking and preaching, Ms Tutu has established Nozizwe Consulting. Nozizwe means Mother of Many Lands, in her mother tongue Xhosa and is the name she was given by her maternal grandmother. The guiding principle of Nozizwe Consulting is to bring different groups together to learn from and celebrate their differences and acknowledge their shared humanity. As part of this work she has led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict. She has also offered educational and partnership trips to South Africa for groups as varied as high schools, churches, hospices, K-12 teachers, and women’s associations. These trips emphasize the opportunities to share our stories and experiences.

Ms Tutu is the recipient of four honorary doctorates from universities and colleges in the US and Nigeria and is pursuing a Masters in Divinity at Vanderbilt University. She is the single mother of two daughters and a son.


Association of Africans Living in Vermont • Burlington Police Department • Champlain Housing Trust • Church Street Marketplace • City of Burlington • Courtyard Marriott • Fletcher Free Library • KeyBank • Kohn Rath Danon & Appel • NBT Bank • People’s United Bank • Spruce Mortgage • Unitarian Church • United Way of Chittenden County • UVM Office of the President • UVM Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs • Vermont Department of Labor