Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Patrick Gaspard Mourns the Passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. – Following news of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu today, CAP President and CEO Patrick Gaspard issued the following statement:

Archbishop Tutu was a true hero in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, a pioneer in restorative justice, and a towering champion for victims of oppression the world over. He committed his entire spirit to the fight against pernicious racism and state violence and was most inspiring when he took unpopular positions to protect the most vulnerable in society—from LGBTQ people to Palestinians. His courage was astonishing, as he literally put his body between the machinery of state oppression and its victims. Archbishop Tutu never sat comfortably in privilege, and he boldly critiqued even those who had been allies when they betrayed democratic principles. The archbishop was a friend and teacher to me, and what I’ll miss most of all is his infectious laugh and mischievous humor. In all settings, he showed me that even in deep distress we had to move to the light.

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.