The Battle Creek Enquirer
(Originally published by the Battle Creek Enquirer on July 31, 2005 and used with permission. The opinions expressed by the Battle Creek Enquirer do not necessarily represent those of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the man Nelson Mandela once called “the voice of the voiceless,” will address a crowd of about 4,000 Friday night at Kellogg Arena.
His appearance at the Kellogg Arena is part of a two-day special event, “A Tribute to Community,” designed to celebrate the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s 75th anniversary.
The Kellogg Foundation’s connection with Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, began through its investments in southern Africa starting in 1996, foundation officials said.
“Beyond being universally recognizable, he really represents the values we are committed to of helping people to help themselves and will speak about that during his address,” said Karen Lake, spokeswoman for the foundation.
“We’re really thrilled and honored to have him here for this important event,” she said.
Tutu was born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, and was educated at Johannesburg Bantu High School. He trained as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and graduated from the University of South Africa in 1954.
After three years as a high school teacher, he studied theology, and was ordained as a priest in 1960.
He studied theology for four years in England, where he earned a master of theology.
He taught theology in South Africa from 1967 to 1972 before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a London theological institute.
In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position.
In 1978, Tutu became the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.
Tutu is an honorary doctor of several universities in the United States, Britain and Germany.
He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, became the first black archbishop of the Anglican Church in South Africa in 1986, and served as the chairman of the nation’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission beginning in 1995.
In 2001, the Desmond Tutu Footprints of Legends Award program was established to celebrate African leaders who strive for social justice and equity through service to their communities.
Tutu is the author of several books including:
• “Crying in the Wilderness. The Struggle for Justice in South Africa.” (Sermons, speeches, articles, press statements, 1978-1980.)
• “Hope and Suffering: Sermons and Speeches.” (From the period 1976-1982.)
• “The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution.” (Speeches, letters and sermons from 1976 to 1994)