BISHOP DESMOND TUTU, SOUTH AFRICA ANTI-APARTHEID LEADER, HAS DIED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Sunday, December 26, 2021    
BISHOP DESMOND TUTU, SOUTH AFRICA ANTI-APARTHEID LEADER, HAS DIED
Statement By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. 
Sunday, December 26, 2021    
Chicago, IL -- Bishop Desmond Tutu, moral and civil rights leader and retired Anglican Archbishop in South Africa, has died at the age of 90 in Cape Town.
I had the pleasure of knowing Bishop Tutu, a person who inspired me, along with many others not only in South Africa but justice lovers around the world. His non-violent leadership on ending apartheid in South Africa made him akin to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights leadership in America. Like Dr. King, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his non-violent campaign against apartheid. Like Dr. King, an ordained Baptist minister and pastor of a local congregation who became a national and international moral leader, Desmond Tutu was also a religious leader who held formal church positions. He was ordained a priest in 1961, became a bishop in 1975 and was consecrated Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986.   President F. W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison in 1990 and gradually took steps to end apartheid and bring a multi-racial democracy to South Africa.    
Bishop Tutu became the chair of the South African Reconciliation Commission that conducted public hearings on apartheid for two years between 1996 and 1998 documenting the injustices that took place during apartheid. Those who came forward and told the truth about their actions during apartheid were offered amnesty and those who suffered under apartheid were offered restitution according to the principles of “restorative justice.”    
Bishop Tutu remained active even after he left his official church position by clashing with his own government by speaking out in support of gay rights and internationally by speaking out in opposition to Israeli occupation of Palestine and the denial of self-determination to Palestinians.      
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Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.