2008 Lincoln Leadership Prize Recipient
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a man whose compassion and strength of conviction sustained his campaigns for peace and equality in South Africa in the midst of the prolonged brutality that fed apartheid. During this turbulent time, his insistence on peaceful solutions put his leadership to the test. Standing at the front of marches for resistance, his survival was much in question, but his refusal to hate put a recognizable face on the plight of South Africa's Black majority and inspired others to resist revenge.
As Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where public hearings were dedicated to providing relief to the victims of racial discrimination, Tutu's campaigns for truth, justice and freedom were played out on a world stage. The hearings, which stood in stark contrast to the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II, were generally judged to be a major factor in averting a devastating downward spiral into violence.
Archbishop Tutu's award was presented by Oprah Winfrey.