Unity Project welcomes daughters of human rights activist Bishop Desmond Tutu to campus Nov. 6

Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of Tutudesk, and Rev. Naomi Nontombi Tutu will headline the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy’s “Lunch & Learn: International Development and Global Peacemaking” discussion with project co-chair Samar Ali. The daughters of prominent activist Bishop Desmond Tutu will lead the conversation on international development and global peacemaking, share their experiences and answer attendees’ questions about their work. 

The Lunch & Learn will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Central Library, Room 200. Lunch will be provided, and registrants are welcome to bring their own. Register here to attend.

Open to all Vanderbilt community members, these Lunch & Learn events create space for students, faculty and staff to engage in collaborative learning and conversation. They are part of the recently launched Dialogue Vanderbilt initiative, which aims to harness university resources to help re-establish norms of civil discourse and mutual respect.     

Click here to register to attend. 

Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe is the CEO of the Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign and eldest daughter of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. She was named one of the global 100 Real Leaders for 2018 by Real Leaders magazine. She is passionate about enhancing peace, racial reconciliation and equality by improving the health and educational experiences of young people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. She is determined to preserve and enhance her parents’ legacy of global peace and justice and reconciliation. She is an accomplished public speaker and serves on several boards and trusts. She has been educated and lived in Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa and the United States. She and her husband live in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Rev. Naomi Nontombi Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. 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, Rev. 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. After years spent as a development consultant, educator and race and gender activist, she accepted her call to ordained ministry. She is an Episcopal priest who most recently was associate rector at All Saints, Beverly Hills. 

For more about the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, visit  

For more about Dialogue Vanderbilt, visit