Truth & Reconciliation: Healing the Wounds of Racism
Whether in personal life or in the larger society, we have wounds that block our ability to be the wonderful gifts that we are meant to be in the world. We too have inflicted wounds unto others, but all these wounds can be healed. However, it takes courage and the willingness to speak and hear the truth. That first step to healing is so often the hardest. We are afraid to speak our truth for fear of judgment, rejection and anger. We are also afraid to hear truths that might question our images of ourselves. Yet the pain is only the first step, what comes after that is healing and wholeness. Using South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a starting place and model, in this presentation Tutu talks about how we can heal and be healed as individuals and a society.
Our Shared Humanity: Creating Understanding Through the Principles of MLK
In this empowering keynote speech, Naomi Tutu combines Dr. King's dream of the "Beloved Community" with the teachings of a South African proverb, speaking to the need to understand how our actions – or inactions – affect all with whom we come in contact and ourselves. Rather than focus on what separates us, Tutu encourages us to focus on our shared humanity in order to build a just world. Both the "Beloved Community" and the proverb share an underlying theme: the importance of not dehumanizing those with who we are in conflict, but rather concentrate on what we have the power to change.
One Body, One Family, One World
Growing up during apartheid in South Africa, Ms. Tutu had firsthand experience of how the prayers and support of the worldwide church are a real means of encouragement for struggling and suffering people. Concrete steps were taken by churches throughout the world to offer support to the people of South Africa as they sought to change their country from one built on the separation of people based on race, to one that celebrated the different gifts and cultures that their country has been blessed with. Churches sent letters of support to political prisoners and their families, sponsored communities in the Bantustans, wrote letters to government and business leaders calling on them to live the Gospel imperative to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
This experience of being part of a worldwide community that sought the best for all God’s people became the basis of this presentation, which speaks to the connections that necessarily exist between the many parts of the One Body. The presentation explores the requirements and benefits of living in this world as people who are connected, one to one another, and the whole of creation through God’s grace.