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Photo of Rebecca and Archbishop Tutu taken at 2005 AVAM Gala. He was with us in-person to accept our highest honor, AVAM’s Grand Visionary Honoree Award. Photo courtesy of Stuart Cooper.

REMEMBERING Archbishop Desmond Tutu

From AVAM Founder & Director Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, on news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

We had the privilege of working closely with the good Archbishop Desmond Tutu, champion of human dignity, in our CHARACTER exhibition: Race, Class & Gender: 3 Things that Contribute "0" to CHARACTER (Because being a schmuck is an equal opportunity for everybody).

Archbishop Tutu used humor to break barriers, possessed a gentle playfulness infused with a radiant spirituality that we still cherish. He was moved to tears by our exhibition. A staunch defender of gay rights, he said as an Episcopal leader and devoted husband and father, "I remember what it was like to be made to suffer for something I could not help, the color of my skin. It is the same with gender identity."

We at AVAM mourn with the world, sending condolences to his daughters and family, at the passing of one of the sweetest lights of championing humanity that ever was. I can still feel his hug and that smile of ultimate "Ubuntu."

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"Worlds Puzzle," a wood carving by Arthur Lopez (courtesy of Derellyn and Michael Kalafer), featuring Tutu, JFK, Gandhi, and Pope Francis. Currently on view in our exhibition, "Healing and the Art of Compassion (And the Lack Thereof!)". Photo by Dan Meyers.