Nontombi Naomi Tutu
The challenges of growing black and female in apartheid South Africa has led Nontombi Naomi Tutu to her present as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught how much we all lose when judged purely on physical attributes. Her speeches blend the passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.
Ms. Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Born in South Africa, she has lived in Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States. 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. She has taken up the challenge and channeled the opportunities given to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all.
Naomi Tutu's 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. She has taught at the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut, and Brevard College in North Carolina.
Ms. Tutu 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. She has since become a sought after speaker to groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials and church and civic organizations. She has also led Truth and Reconciliation Workshops for groups dealing with different types of conflict. Together with Rose Bator she presents a workshop titled Building Bridges dealing with issues of race and racism. The two also lead women's retreats through their organization Sister Sojourner. They are also writing a book provisionally titled I Don't Think of You as Black: Honest Conversations on Race and Racism.
Naomi Tutu is also a consultant to two organizations: the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), founded by renowned author Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Betty Williams, and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA). Both reflect the breadth of her involvement in issues of human rights.
Aida Hurtado is Professor and Luis Leal Endowed Chair of the Department of Chicano and Chicana Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Hurtado works on gender equity issues. She has made major contributions to national and international scholarship on issues of gender and race. In 2007, she received the Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), recognizing distinguished research, professional practice, and activities that advance public understanding of gender and/or sexuality throughout the educational community. She was a speaker at the 2018 Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
Joy Gaston Gayles is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on the college student experience and how those experiences impact desired outcomes of undergraduate education, most notably for student athletes as well as women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. She is also interested in diversity, social justice, and equity issues. In 2014 ACPA recognized Dr. Gayles as a Diamond Honoree for her contributions to higher education and student affairs, and in 2018 she received the Zenobia L. Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award.