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Butler University students, Butler Tarkington teens representing the Martin Luther King Center, and local community leaders and Butler alumni Tabitha Barbour and Allison Luthe in front of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Desmond Tutu Peace Lab at Butler University

Nobel Peace Prize awardee Desmond Tutu is a renowned South African Anglican cleric known for his staunch opposition to the policies of apartheid. Despite bloody violations committed against the black population in South Africa during Apartheid, Tutu adhered to his nonviolent line. Since, he has emerged as a global voice for peace, reconciliation, and social justice.

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

—Desmond Tutu

Our Mission

The Desmond Tutu Peace Lab is an innovative think tank dedicated to undergraduate research, activism, dialogue and advocacy around peace and social justice issues broadly defined. It continues work in the spirit of The Desmond Tutu Center (2012–2017) by promoting peace, reconciliation, and global justice on campus and in the local community.

The Peace Lab began its work in the fall of 2018 and is designed to:

  • Develop and disseminate innovative and strategic approaches to peace education, leadership, policy, practice, and advocacy while
  • Developing capacity among students for peace and justice activism and innovative peace and justice leadership, including religious peacebuilding.
Inaugural Peace Lab Interns for 2018–2019 Julio Trujillo and Mikayla Whittemore. Photo by Dan Carpenter.

Inaugural Peace Lab Interns for 2018–2019
Julio Trujillo and Mikayla Whittemore.
Photo by Dan Carpenter.

Our Work

Student interns and a student think tank are working with faculty and local community partners to host lectures, workshops, dialogues, study tours, trainings, and other experiences in research and activism. Butler students are at the heart of the Peace Lab and work with the Faculty Director to create meaningful, student-led programming.

To get involved, contact the Faculty Director, Siobhan McEvoy-Levy, at smcevoy@butler.edu.

Paid Internships

The Peace Lab offers year-long paid internships for students during the fall and spring semesters.

Student Think Tank

Students from any discipline or college can apply to be members of the Desmond Tutu Peace Lab Think Tank.

Lectures and Workshops

We provide the space for interdisciplinary visions of peace, social justice storytelling, and talks by scholar activists.

Roundtables and Dialogues

The Peace Lab convenes roundtables and dialogues on cultures of future peace themed around the arts, media, religion, education, politics, gender, race, law, science, business, and other topics.

Study Tours

The Peace Lab designs and leads study tours for students, faculty, alumni, and community youth leaders in order to learn about peace and justice practices with an emphasis on visiting “sites of conscience” and studying how divided societies have constructive dialogues about the past.

Research and Writing

Students, faculty, and community partners are engaged in a range of research and writing projects for presentation at professional conferences, for publication, and for community use. 

Ian Manuel speaks at the MLK Center. Picture by Adam Cvik.

Ian Manuel speaks at the MLK Center. Picture by Adam Cvik.

Peace Lab Study Tour in Birmingham at offices of the Civil Rights Footsoldiers.

Peace Lab Study Tour in Birmingham at offices of the Civil Rights Footsoldiers.