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Global Activist Reverend Naomi Tutu Speaks About Resilience at the Second Learn United Event to Inspire Unity

by | Apr 27, 2023

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 28, 2023) – United Way of Greater Chattanooga and national non-profit Millions of Conversations welcomed community members from across Greater Chattanooga on Tuesday to discuss resilience with Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu. 

The Learn United Conversation Series is designed to bring people together through intentional discussion led by leadership speakers with the goal of turning conversation into community action. The organizations expanded the series this month, adding more community members and inviting Tutu.  

Reverend Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, has been a lifelong activist for human rights in several parts of the world. Growing up as a black woman in apartheid South Africa showed her how courageous acts can create transformation. 

She urged the Chattanooga community to see the value in shared humanity to create resilience and fight division.  

“Diversity is the strength and beauty of our shared humanity,” Tutu said. “As we work together to drive hate and division from our world, we build a collective resilience; one that nurtures our souls and feeds the work in our communities. Chattanooga has passionate leaders working toward positive change, and they are building the resilience needed to see it done.”   

150 attendees were invited into an interactive night full of diverse conversation and meaningful connection. At the end of the evening, each person wrote a note to their younger selves about the challenges they’ve overcome to highlight that resilience can look different for everyone but is essential for a connected community.  

“The idea of being okay with the uncomfortable was an exciting idea from our table conversation,” said Ken Smith, Learn United Table Lead and Avondale Neighborhood Association Leader. “If you come out of your comfort zone you may discover something you have in common with a stranger. Keep asking questions and discover something new about someone you didn’t know.”  

View the event image gallery here.  

The Learn United Conversation Series is designed to arm the Greater Chattanooga community with tools they can use to turn conversation into action. The Learn United Conversation Series will continue to bring leadership speakers to the stage throughout the year to explore additional values when building a more connected community. Each interactive event will create space for all voices to be heard. Visit staging.unitedwaycha.org/learnunited to learn more.  

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About United Way of Greater Chattanooga  

At United Way of Greater Chattanooga, we envision a community where all people achieve their full human potential through education, stability, and health & well-being. Our mission is to unite people and resources in building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we drive measurable, lasting impact for our community. None of us can do it alone. UNITED, we can. For more information, visit our website www.staging.unitedwaycha.org. 

About Millions of Conversations  

Millions of Conversations is a nonprofit organization that seeks to unite Americans around common values for a shared future through productive dialogue. The organization seeks to change existing narratives that marginalize and politicize “the other.” Starting with the predominating narrative about Muslim-Americans, its focus is on eliminating stigma in all its forms. By transcending divides, Millions of Conversations disrupt cycles of hate, combat misinformation, and challenge harmful stereotypes. The organization engages energetic voices at the grassroots level to reach people across America. Visit www.millionsofconversations.com to learn more.