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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
E-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

MEDIA ADVISORY

(For planning purposes only, not for publication or broadcast.)

PRESS CONFERENCE

ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU

1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Monday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m.

Levitt Center for University Advancement, Board Room (fourth floor)

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize and chairman of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will be available to meet with the media at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 at the Levitt Center for University Advancement, Board Room (fourth floor), at the University of Iowa.

Tutu is lecturing at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8 at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The free and public lecture is one of several Global Focus: Human Rights '98 programs, a UI celebration that began last year in commemoration of the signing of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights 50 years ago.

Tutu, bishop of Johannesburg, South Africa, and a former Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts to end apartheid, the legally required segregation of South African blacks and whites and African ethnic groups that began in 1948. It ended in 1994, when South Africa, in its first democratic presidential elections elected African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela as president.

Mandela named Tutu as chair of the South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a group whose mandate was to investigate abuses committed by individuals and organizations during the apartheid era. In October 1998 Archbishop Tutu gave Mandela the two-year, 3,500-page report that detailed some of the most horrid acts by whites who fought to preserve apartheid and by South Africans who fought against each other for political power.

Today the TRC's findings has not led to the healing that its truths were intended to bring to South Africans. Tutu has called his time served on the TRC as "an incredible privilege to have participated in this process of healing a wounded and traumatized people." Tutu is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, but has continued working to make headlines as a spokesperson against racial injustice. Tutu, like Mandela, has become a symbol of freedom and energy for human rights activists and apartheid opponents.

The 67-year-old Tutu is teaching this year at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., at the university's School of Theology and while there, he will write about his TRC experience.

2/2/99