The DTC’s programs are constructed around the teachings of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Desmond Tutu and grounded in a commitment to continue his work reshaping conversations about peace, equality, and forgiveness.


  • Help our community grapple with the issues that threaten peace
  • Initiate and encourage vigorous scholarly engagement through research and exchange, to broaden and deepen discourse on global issues
  • Engage local religious communities, community organizations, and academic institutions, as well as those committed to issues of peace and justice in our communities and across the world, in endeavors toward understanding, peace, and justice; and create opportunities for these groups to share, learn, teach, and engage practically with each other
  • Engage students and youth through conversation with a view to enhance their understanding of global issues such as peace, justice, and human dignity, based on the values of our common and intertwined humanity, love of education, ecological justice, and the ethics and practice of responsible citizenship
  • Create nonviolent responses to situations of violence, conflict, and injustice; and foster engagement in honest—albeit difficult—conversations and the building of local and global alliances toward the creation of communities of reconciled diversity


DTC advances the development and assessment of best practices in teaching and learning for peace, reconciliation, and justice by facilitating classroom instruction, creating safe-spaces for intellectual discussions and ensuring that all our programming is informative in nature.


The DTC seeks to explore and develop the virtues required for the pursuit of peace, reconciliation, and global justice. Our events focus on leadership development in social justice and reconciliation, international relationships, and interreligious bridge-building by creating a safe environment for the open expression and exchange of ideas.


At the core of DTC’s mission is an objective to initiate and encourage vigorous scholarly engagement through research and exchange with individuals, institutions and networks. The Tutu Fellows program supports the training of researchers, many of whom are uniquely poised to make discoveries in global justice issues.


Youth Fellows

In 2014, the Desmond Tutu Center received a gift from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, allowing the Center to launch its Youth Fellows Initiative, an empowerment program for young emerging leaders from Central Indiana and South Africa. The Youth Fellows Initiative is designed to support youth who want to change and challenge existing norms that prevent their community from achieving equality.

What We Do

Tutu Fellows

Every academic year, the Tutu Fellows program supports the training of researchers at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary, many of whom are uniquely poised to make discoveries in global justice issues. Each Tutu Fellow applicant provides a project summary, statement of alignment to the mission of the DTC, metrics for gathering data and measuring success, as well as plans for disseminating the results.

DTC Conference

In 2016, the DTC will host a two day conference entitled, Healing, Liberation, and Reconciliation with Global and Local Voices for Change. This two-day conference will feature a plenary session with Leonardo Boff, Brazil’s leading Christian liberation theologian and key proponent of ecological justice; Sr. Joan Chittister, called by TIME magazine a modern Joan de Arc vis-à-vis; and Eugen Drewermann, hailed a “New Martin Luther” by major newspapers in Europe; along with Hoosier voices for peace, reconciliation and justice. More information to come soon.

What We Do





DTC Stories

November 30 – Dough

The second film screening of the New View Film Series took place on November 30 and the film shown was Dough. Unlike the other films in this series, Dough is a comedy, and it is about an old Jewish baker named Nat struggling to keep his business afloat until he decides to take in a […]

December 2 – Citizen

On Saturday, December 2, Books and Breakfast featured Claudia Rankine’s poetry book, Citizen. In a gist, Citizen is a collection of poems exploring the mounting racial microaggressions in a time that is too often branded as a “post-racial society”. In essay, image, and poetry, Rankine’s work is [...]

October 25 – In Our Own Backyard

On October 25, the event “In Our Own Backyard” brought together a powerful panel focused on raising awareness and tackling the issue of child sex trafficking in Central Indiana. The panel included IndyStar opinion editor Tim Swarens, IMPD Detective Sergeant Jon Daggy, Ascent121 psychologist Dr. [...]

November 12 – For Love’s Sake

“For Love’s Sake: Life as an Ally in the Age of Islamophobia” took place on November 12 at UIndy’s Schwitzer Hall, presented by the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Waseema Ali, Managing Director of the Desmond Tutu Center; and featured Erin Polley, [...]

November 11 – Rise UP Singing

On Saturday, November 11, Rise UP Singing brought voices of the Indianapolis community together to sing for historic and contemporary social justice causes: civil rights, worker justice, human equality, and environmental protection. The idea behind this Spirit & Place event was that social [...]

November 10 – Welcoming Strangers Summary

       On Friday, November 10, the Desmond Tutu Center hosted a screening of the documentary Welcoming Strangers, Finding Brothers and Sisters at Butler University’s Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall. Tutu Fellows, Dr. Susan Adams and Dr. Brooke Kandel-Cisco introduced themselves and started the [...]

November 6 – K(no)w Voice, K(no)w Power

K(no)w Voice, K(no)w Power was a kinetic conversation on the power of persuasion, empathy, and compassion, which took place on Nov 6, 2018. Inside 16 Park Community Center, a green line split the room in two. The audience was prompted to align themselves on the line depending on their beliefs [...]

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

We are constantly building a civil discourse

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