Holland America Line Honors Desmond Tutu
Holland America Line has established a Shared Humanity Award to be given annually, starting this year with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The award is presented to a leader and change-maker who has dedicated their life to inspiring others to see that the things that unite us are greater than those that divide us.
Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford bestowed the first award on Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in recognition of his lifetime spent championing equality, inclusion and peace.
Ashford presented a $40,000 donation on behalf of Holland America Line to the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in commemoration of the award. "Holland America Line is guided by the belief that travel changes the way we look at the world and helps create a path toward acceptance. By establishing the Shared Humanity Award, we can pay tribute to those who have inspired us and millions of others," said Ashford. "We are incredibly honored to give the first Shared Humanity Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world's foremost human rights activists and spiritual leaders, who has dedicated his life to spreading peace, freedom, justice and democracy around the globe."
Tutu, the first black African to serve as Archbishop of Cape Town, and his work forging racial equality — beginning with his opposition to apartheid in South Africa — is renowned throughout the world. His leadership of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has offered a blueprint to nations across the globe seeking to recover from war, conflict and brutality. The Archbishop is known for his unshakable optimism in the face of overwhelming odds and his limitless faith in the ability of people to do good works. Over the last decade and a half he has been an outspoken voice for women's leadership, girls' education and LGBT rights, addressing climate change and seeking to end the practice of child brides.
Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007 and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
"There are many ways to celebrate Archbishop Emeritus Tutu — peacemaker, reconciler, champion of human rights of every kind, recipient of countless awards and hundreds of honorary doctorates, but this humble man who treads the face of the earth lightly loves the simplicity of being called 'Father'," said Robert V. Taylor, president of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation. Tutu and his wife, Leah, founded the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, a nonprofit organization engaging and equipping young people to be peacemakers and change agents.
Taylor says: "In the spirit of Holland America Line's Shared Humanity Award we are invited to be inspired by what the Archbishop often says: Do your bit of good wherever you, are because every bit of good adds up to change the world."
The Shared Humanity Award is designed to strengthen Holland America Line's commitment to the transformative power of travel and the belief that connecting people from different cultures opens minds, builds connections and inspires shared humanity.