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Desmond Tutu

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric and activist. Born in South Africa in 1931, he became an Anglican priest in 1960. He was appointed secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches in 1978 and became a prominent voice against the apartheid government, advocating peaceful reconciliation between whites and blacks. In 1986 he was appointed archbishop of Cape Town, becoming the first black person to head the Anglican Church in South Africa. His efforts helped end apartheid in 1994, after which he led the Truth and Reconciliation Committee and retired as archbishop in 1996; with his wife Leah he co-founded the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in 1998. He has since worked to promote peace and human rights and combat global poverty, HIV/AIDS, misogyny, climate change, and homophobia. He has taken special interest in the Palestinian territories, which he has compared to the conditions of black South Africans under apartheid. Additionally, Tutu has been a member of the Alliance of Civilizations High-level Group since 2005 and was chairman of the Elders from 2007 until May 2013.