I send my best wishes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his 90th birthday and join the world in celebrating his life of service and contributions to humanity. I’ve been honored to meet and spend time with Archbishop Tutu on several occasions over the years, and like so many others, I am inspired by his personal commitment to championing human rights and to always speaking out for what is right. The world first came to know Archbishop Tutu as he modeled the highest tenets of his faith in challenging the injustice of Apartheid in South Africa. His courage and moral clarity at that time helped inspire my own commitment as a United States Senator to change American policy toward the Apartheid regime in South Africa. And in the years since, the world has continued to learn from Archbishop Tutu’s message of justice, equality, and reconciliation.
In honor of Archbishop Tutu, let us all recommit ourselves to the work that has animated his life: advancing respect for human rights, strengthening equality, protecting fundamental freedoms, and fighting for racial justice, both at home and around the world.