“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

South African-born Desmond Tutu was educated in mission schools where his father taught. As a young man, he hoped to become a physician, but his eventual path as a cleric made him one of the most famous peacemakers of the 20th century.

Tutu was ordained an Anglican priest in 1961 and in 1978 accepted an appointment as general secretary of the South African Council of Churches. During the 1980s, he was an outspoken critic of apartheid in South Africa, bringing awareness of the struggle to the world stage and insisting on the use of non-violent resistance by black South Africans. He spoke out at great personal sacrifice when he risked being jailed after calling for a boycott of municipal elections. He urged the international community to use economic sanctions against the apartheid government—a move that resulted in South Africa canceling Tutu's passport.

Even at the height of apartheid violence, through everything his people endured, Tutu was consistent in his faith that a nonviolent solution could prevail. When he spoke in a Johannesburg suburb, after a violent police massacre on the black population, he told his followers, "Do not hate. Let us choose the peaceful way to freedom."

In 1984, the global community recognized Tutu's leadership by granting him the Nobel Prize for Peace. Two years later he was elected the first black archbishop of Cape Town, an office he held for 10 years.

Eventually, of course, Tutu and his fellow foes of apartheid won the day, and apartheid was ended in the early 1990s. Afterward, Tutu became a mediator in the transition toward democracy. Beginning in 1995, he chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established by former President Nelson Mandela to investigate human rights violations during apartheid.

Tutu was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize in India in 2007, the same year he founded the Elders, a group of international leaders that promotes conflict resolution and problem solving globally. He has received more than 50 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. Until his retirement in 2010, at age 79, he continued to teach and travel the globe as a champion for international human rights and AIDS awareness.

Throughout his decades of tireless work for peace and tolerance, Tutu has been a shining example that with enduring faith in a cause, and persistent work toward a goal, we can achieve anything—without violence, without anger, but in the spirit of compassion, forgiveness and peace.

Peace. Pass It On!

This billboard about Peace features Archbishop Desmond Tutu; activist, cleric.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
Rylie Smith from Gaylord Highschool  OCTOBER 17, 2022
so help full !!

Anonymous MARCH 21, 2019
this is great he is an amazing person and I wish he could be able to go back in time and do it again but only bringing back his age and not changing a single thing!

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
wow now that's how we should all act. peaceful and comited

Ned from Springwood DECEMBER 3, 2015
This web page is epic

Michael from Crown Point  SEPTEMBER 9, 2015
He was a great man glad he was able to do such a great thing

Joy Ingram from 4207 Furley Avenue FEBRUARY 25, 2014
This is a very true quote. I will do exactly what it said to do because I believe in this quote

Kelly from Nora JUNE 11, 2013
Wow ,

W.Jeniffer from Nairobi, Kenya FEBRUARY 4, 2013
This is one one man whom when I read of him, am encouraged to dream again.

mary from stockton,ca MARCH 6, 2012
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God One of the beatitudes

Barazae from Kilombero, Tanzania FEBRUARY 22, 2012
Riddle man, we thank you for your commitments on making the world a better place

Dr. Lourdes dela Torre from Philippines DECEMBER 21, 2011
Peace values should be started with children for them to appreciate the beauty and effects of a peaceful community

Allanzo Williams from Kingston, Jamaica AUGUST 18, 2011
I think everyone should strive for PEACE because we ALL will win when the WORLD is peaceful

Lucy Kohansamad from Santa Barbara, CA FEBRUARY 27, 2011
His book, "Made for Goodness" is amazing.

Joseph S from Greensboro NC. JANUARY 2, 2011
While traveling through life's journey share the little piece that can help lead to real PEACE.

Great is his achievement, for being a man of peace and solidarity that he shall get in the last day is may he get peace and favor from God.

Abby L-J from Oregon SEPTEMBER 15, 2010
My school is on this site for health and I find it rather cool. The fact that you can comment on people's stories is amazing. Or at least to me.

Hydiah O. from Allentown, PA FEBRUARY 22, 2010
What about, "Pride. Pass it on"?

Hydiah O. from Allentown, PA FEBRUARY 22, 2010
I have my own billboard if I may share it.

Theresa, V from Springfield, MA NOVEMBER 19, 2009
My whole school read this book and it's called "Left to Tell" by Immaculee Ilibagiza, she wrote about how Desmond Tutu saved many Tutsi even though he was a Hutu. It was so inspiring!

Hyacinth, D from Prescott, AR SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
I feel so encouraged when I see this Peace billboard and other Foundation messages across the nation. You are doing a great work. I hope all Americans will be inspired to positive persistent action.

Angie W. from Dexter, Missoui, USA MAY 29, 2009
Thank you so much for bringing a great man to Southeast Missouri! I almost wrecked when I saw his picture on my way to work. I love him so much.

Jonny F. from Brookings, Oregon MAY 19, 2009
Desomond Tutu is a very inspiring guy the way he fought for his rights and sacrificed a lot. He is always trying to help others like him helping Aids victims.

Jessica C. from Jefferson City, Missouri MAY 19, 2009
PEACE... If people disturb someone and they want peace. They will never get it because to make peace you have to work for it... PEACE IS HAPPINESS IN LIFE.


Brighton N.. from California, USA FEBRUARY 18, 2009
I think he has worked hard to inspire us to peace and love for one another. He is such a great icon especially for Africa. He is a man of integrity and great values for humanity. Hope we can all emulate his example.

Brandon W. from Canada JANUARY 12, 2009
I believe peace can change my life and everyone else if you try.

Beth K. from Cleveland, Ohio USA DECEMBER 3, 2008
I cannot stop looking at his billboard. To find such a billboard labeled "Peace" in the middle of the one of the most downtrodden, poorest cities in America, Cleveland, Ohio- is truly amazing to me. Desmond Tutu has lived his life working for the downtrodden. The stories of personal and national forgiveness described in his book entitled "Forgiveness" are etched permanently into my heart. Peacemaking is in his soul, and we need his example every day. Thank you for these billboards of hope.

Dave T. from Tennessee OCTOBER 24, 2008
Such a great billboard. Archbishop Tutu has been an inspiration to us for years and it is only fitting that this wonderful person now inspire all Americans.

Tayna T. from Oregon SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
You are too good at this and you can always have a way for things to figure out.

Jordan from Oregon SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
Compassion is the best way to go

Barbara T. from Holyoke, MA SEPTEMBER 10, 2008
I love this billboard of Archbishop Tutu and its message. We have so much to learn from him about hope.

Muthini, E from Denton , TX, USA APRIL 29, 2008
There is no greatness where there is not simplicity. A real example who has lived breathing for peace. An incredible man indeed!!

We can make this world a better place to live in if we show love and compassion in everything we do.

Melanie W. from Seattle, WA USA APRIL 8, 2008
This man is the real deal - genuine, compassionate, funny and dear. I spent 3 months with him on a semester at Sea voyage, and he left an indelible impression on every soul aboard ship. A true role model.

Samantha Eckard from KY, USA MARCH 24, 2008
Nothing is of greater value than living for peace, what an inspirational and beautiful man!

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