Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Naomi Tutu

The Rev. Naomi Tutu, a social justice activist and daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights activist, has been hired by The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village to work on racial and economic reconciliation issues across Western North Carolina.

Rev. Naomi Tutu is an Episcopalian priest and The Cathedral of All Souls serves as the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, which encompasses 28 counties in the western end of the state. The diocese includes Christ School, a private school for boys, the Deerfield retirement community and two conference centers. Her title at All Souls is Cathedral Missioner for Racial and Economic Reconciliation, as well as Missioner for Kairos West Community Center, a community center on Haywood Road in West Asheville that describes itself as a “social justice community living room.”

Tutu is a sought-after public speaker on social and racial justice issues. She comes to the Asheville area as the city leaders have begun putting those issues into focus through the recent creation of a new Human Relations Commission and the creation of a new city government department dedicated to issues of equity and inclusion.

Here’s the full announcement from The Cathedral of All Souls regarding the hiring of Rev. Naomi Tutu:

The Cathedral of All Souls announced today that The Rev. Naomi Tutu will join the Cathedral staff on November 4, 2018, serving as Cathedral Missioner for Racial and Economic Reconciliation and Missioner for Kairos West Community Center.

The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa has led Nontombi Naomi Tutu to her present day work as an activist for human rights and to her ordination to the Episcopal church in 2017. Rev. Tutu is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Her professional experience ranges from being a development consultant in West Africa, to being program coordinator for programs on Race and Gender and Gender-based Violence in Education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. In addition, she has taught at the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut and Brevard College in North Carolina.

Rev. Naomi Tutu is a consultant to two organizations that reflect the breadth of her involvement in issues of human rights. The organizations are the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), founded by renowned author Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Be y Williams, and the Foundation for Hospices in SubSaharan Africa (FHSSA). She is a single mother of two children and currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she is serving as the Curate at Christ Church Cathedral.

The Missioner position was created in response to the church’s call to seek to transform unjust societal structures, and in the position Rev. Tutu will seek to engage parishioners of the Cathedral, Episcopalians of the Diocese of Western North Carolina, as well as members of the wider community of Asheville/Buncombe County in public dialogue, advocacy, and reconciliation initiatives related to the role of race, economic, and intercultural relations.

The Cathedral of All Souls, located on Angle Street in the heart of Biltmore Village in Asheville, N.C., is an Episcopal church and serves as the Cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. Built in 1896 by George Vanderbilt to serve as the local parish church for Biltmore Village, today All Souls is a thriving church where all are welcome. The Very Reverend Todd M. Donatelli is the current Dean of the Cathedral.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1


  1. Curious August 20, 2018

    Wasn”t the Rev. Ms. Tutu supposed to have come to work at UNCA a few years ago?

  2. Jean Cassidy August 14, 2018

    terrific article and information

  3. James Scaggs August 12, 2018

    You do understand of course the Bible settles the issue of racism and sexism and what ever other ism that is out there in Gal. and Eph. and 1 and 2 Tim. One Lord one faith one Baptism,yeah I know for this to work one must accept the Bible as the word of God,and oh remember Jesus said the poor will be with you always,reality is this until one accepts Jesus as the one and only way,and truth you can have all the social justice nonsense you want.All one is doing is wasting their time.


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