[from Religion Press Release Service]
PRETORIA, South Africa -- South African Desmond Tutu will receive an international award recognizing his "vision, understanding and building of bridges," a global spiritual group said.
The Nobel Peace laureate and retired Anglican archbishop of Cape Town will receive the Spiritual Leadership Award from Humanity's Team, a global movement "awakening the world to oneness," the group said.
Tutu -- who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid and brought reconciliation to South Africa's people a decade later -- will receive Humanity's Team's highest honor April 18 at the movement's 2009 global Oneness Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, said the group, based in Boulder, Colorado.
The summit will focus on oneness, especially as expressed in the southern African ethic of "ubuntu," which means, "I am what I am because of who we all are."
"Archbishop Tutu has dedicated his life to solving some of the world's most insurmountable challenges with vision, understanding and building of bridges," Humanity's Team Worldwide Coordinating Director Steve Farrell said.
"He embodies many of humanity's greatest visions of spiritual courage -- of ubuntu -- and is now an icon of hope far beyond South Africa," Farrell said. "We consider it a great privilege to give this award to this spiritual leader and we are extremely honored he has agreed to accept it."
Tutu, 77, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, said he was "deeply grateful" to receive the Humanity's Team honor, which has become the standard among global awards for extraordinary expressions of inclusive visionary spiritual leadership through one's life lived.
"We must recognize our common humanity -- that we are all one, that our destinies are bound up in another's, that I need you for me to be me and that we complement each other as essential parts of a greater whole," Tutu said.
"If we could but recognize this fundamental law of our being, then we would create a glorious world in which all of us live harmoniously together as members of one human family, God's family," Tutu said, echoing a statement from his "God Has a Dream."
"Life would truly be 'on Earth as it is in heaven,'" he said. "God's dream would become a reality."
To learn more about the award, the petition and the Oneness Summit, visit http://www.humanitysteam.org/.