about us

Mission and Vision

To understand, enhance and impact the local and global discourse around peace, reconciliation and global justice by cultivating research, promoting the exchange and understanding of global issues, developing young leaders and nurturing concern about peace and justice among civic, religious, and academic leaders.
Shape the future by building public discourse around peace, reconciliation, and global justice by encouraging the formation of conscientious, responsible, and courageous citizenship.

Our History

The Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation and Global Justice was launched by Butler University and the Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) on September 12, 2013. Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, the iconic spiritual leader and South African anti-apartheid activist cherished the world over, came to Indianapolis to launch the Center. The Dungy Family Foundation served as the founding sponsor of the Center.

  • “Indianapolis provides a distinctive setting in which the richness of Desmond Tutu’s life and work—religious, inclusive, prophetic, and reconciling—may be carried forward into the 21st century. The Desmond Tutu Center at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary can distinctively honor the man and advance his legacy."

    James M. Danko
    James M. Danko Butler University President
  • "the center will help raise the profile of Indianapolis as a truly international city that innovatively pursues ways in which our deepest commitments can help bring us together for the sake of the city, Central Indiana, and the wider world."

    Matthew Boulton
    Matthew Boulton Christian Theological Seminary President
  • “In many ways this center is the culmination of our comradeship in the struggles in South Africa and our shared passion for justice and reconciliation in the world. It is also the crowning of decades of cherished friendship.”

    Allan A. Boesak
    Allan A. Boesak Chair, Desmond Tutu Center

Our Directors

  • Allan A. Boesak Chair

    Allan A. Boesak was the inaugural Chair of the Desmond Tutu Center 2013-2017. He taught courses at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary and spoke across the country on issues relating to religion, faith, reconciliation and politics. A native of South Africa, his early activism and service led to international recognition as an influential leader in the fight against apartheid. During the 1980s and 1990s, he worked alongside Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela to lead efforts against apartheid and promote reconciliation.

  • Waseema Ali
    Waseema Ali Managing Director

    Waseema N. Ali is the Managing Director of the Desmond Tutu Center. Originally from Skokie, Illinois, she now calls Indianapolis, Indiana home. Ms. Ali holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Valparaiso University School of Law and a bachelors degree from Purdue University. Her past work includes strategic planning, non-profit management, empowerment talks for victims of domestic violence, youth leadership workshops and cultural sensitivity trainings for social work and law enforcement personnel. She currently serves as an ambassador for Indy Reads, an adult literacy program and sits on the Board of Directors for the Center For Interfaith Cooperation.

our fantastic task force

  • Corbin Panturad
    Corbin Panturad Program Assistant
  • Santiago Lopez
    Santiago Lopez Marketing and Communications Assistant
  • Nirupama Hayden
    Nirupama Hayden Volunteer Consultant - Special Projects
  • Phillip Graybiel
    Phillip Graybiel Youth Fellows Program Assistant

Our Faculty Advisory Committee

The Faculty Advisory Committee is responsible for advising DTC’s Executive Team on policies and activities that enable the DTC to fulfill its mission. With equal representation from both the Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University, the Faculty Advisory Committee provides guidance and recommendations regarding DTC’s academic interests, including the development of program and research objectives and priorities, the pursuit of grant and funding opportunities, the procurement and allocation of resources, and the advancement of inter-institutional relations.

our strategic framework


    The DTC builds scholarly capacity through individuals, academic institutions, and networks to broaden and deepen the discourse of peace, reconciliation, and justice

  • Cultivate YOUNG LEADERS

    The DTC cultivates young leaders in the development and implementation of reconciliation techniques and globally relevant solutions to address global issues.

  • FORM and strengthen PARTNERSHIPS

    The DTC will work closely with its partners to build bridges between communities, institutions, and countries in order to foster peacemaking, reconciliation, and global justice.

our parent institutions

Butler University
Butler University

Butler University is a liberal arts school with a history of doing things differently. In 1855, attorney and abolitionist Ovid Butler opened a school founded on the principle that everyone deserves an excellent education, regardless of race or gender– a bold idea in pre-Civil-War America. He believed that experience is the best teacher, that a love of learning prepares you for success no matter what you do, and that anyone can achieve greatness if they’re willing to put in the effort. Butler University now offers well over 60 major academic fields of study in six colleges and was recently ranked 2nd for Midwest Regional Universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Best Colleges.

Christian Theological Seminary
Christian Theological Seminary

For more than 150 years through its incarnations as colleges within North Western Christian University and Butler University, the Christian Theological Seminary has pursued its mission of preparing ministers, counselors and lay people to serve as leaders of the church and the world. Frederick Doyle Kershner opened the School of Religion to persons of all denominations, persons of color, and women, and welcomed a Jewish rabbi to serve on the faculty for more than two decades– a remarkable move in early twentieth-century America. CTS is a fully accredited ecumenical institution offering graduate-level degree programs and lifelong education.

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