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December 03, 2014 : Naomi Tutu Keynote Speaker for Celebrate Women 2015
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager


Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington is proud to announce the keynote speaker for Celebrate Women 2015 -- Race and Gender Justice Activist Naomi Tutu.  The annual women’s conference is scheduled for March 20, 2015 and this year’s theme is “Making a Difference.”
“Naomi Tutu is a wonderful example of women making a difference in the world,” said Dr. Pam Kaylor, coordinator of the event. “Our students, faculty, staff and community will have an amazing opportunity to learn a great deal from Tutu.”
Tutu_Naomi_607Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa have been the foundation of Nontombi Naomi Tutu's life as an activist for human rights. Those experiences taught her that our whole human family loses when we accept situations of oppression and how the teaching and preaching of hate and division injure us all. In her speeches she blends this passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.
Tutu was born in South Africa and had the opportunity to live in many communities and countries. She was educated in Swaziland, the U.S., and England and has divided her adult life between South Africa and the United States. Growing up the "daughter of..." has offered Naomi Tutu many opportunities and challenges in her life. Most important of these has been the challenge to follow her own path and role in building a better world. She has taken up the challenge and channeled the opportunities she has been given to raise her voice as a champion for the dignity of all.
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 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.
She started her public speaking as a college student at Berea College in Kentucky in the 1970s when she was invited to speak at churches, community groups, and colleges and universities about her experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa. Since that time she has become a much sought-after speaker to groups as varied as business associations, professional conferences, elected officials, and church and civic organizations.
“In addition to Tutu, we already have several other speakers and topics lined up for Celebrate Women,” said Kaylor. “The conference will include panels throughout the day on energizing your life, your health, relationships, mentoring, and women making a difference in the arts, history, politics, and the workplace.”
Partnering organizations working to put on this year’s conference include OHIO Women and the Ohio University Alumni Association.  Registration and program information will soon be posted on