Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu became a leading spokesman for the rights
of black South Africans, for which he was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize (1984). As founder and head of the South African
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he is actively encouraging
forgiveness on a national scale. Archbishop Tutu has witnessed
extraordinary examples of its healing power as his nation struggles
to recover from the tragedy of apartheid.
reconciliation are not just ethereal, spiritual, other-worldly
activities. They have to do with the real world. They are
realpolitik, because in a very real sense, without forgiveness,
there is no future."
President Jimmy Carter
The 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter dedicated
himself to restoring compassion as a fundamental tenet of American
government. As architect of the 1979 Camp David Accords, he
helped the nations of Israel and Egypt achieve reconciliation
in the Middle East.
one of the most difficult things for a human being to do,
but I think it means looking at some slight you feel, putting
yourself in the position of the other person, and wiping away
any sort of resentment and antagonism you feel toward them.
Then let that other person know that everything is perfectly
friendly and normal between you."
Ruby Bridges Hall
Ruby Bridges walked into the pages of American history when,
on November 14, 1960, as a courageous six-year-old girl in New
Orleans, she was the first African American to integrate an
elementary school. Through her offer of forgiveness to those
taunting her, she became a national symbol at a very early age.
Today, through her foundation, she is working to bring parents
back into schools to make them a more active part of their children's
"To forgive is
to set yourself free, to acknowledge that it does no good
to hate. Hate really, really destroys both the other person
and yourself. That realization is what I think taught me about
forgiveness, and so I try to live by it."
Robert Coles, M.D.
Even though he witnessed Ruby Bridges' historic walk entirely
by chance, Dr. Robert Coles was so influenced and motivated
by her act of forgiveness that she became the inspiration for
and first subject of his renowned work, Children of Crisis.
This launched his distinguished career as a child psychiatrist,
Harvard professor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
"I think forgiveness
is an aspect of our humanity. I think a lot of as are brought
up to believe that if we don't somehow forgive, whatever it
is that's ailing, troubling, angering, enraging or shaming
us, or getting us in any way worked up, is going to live longer
without forgiveness, whether it's ourselves or others we're
Everett L. Worthington,
Campaign Executive Director
A professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of
20 books, Everett Worthington is considered a pioneer in the
field of scientific research into forgiveness and reconciliation.
Dr. Worthington's specialty is marriage and family counseling.
He has published over 200 scientific articles or chapters
and has conducted over 50 workshops on marital therapy, marital
enrichment, and forgiveness.
the tools of science have not been employed to investigate
forgiveness. The new wave of research we've begun, however,
has the potential to reveal the profound value of forgiveness
in our lives -- information that could reduce human misery
and increase the quality of life worldwide."
See a video of the Campaign Co-Chairs
A Campaign for Forgiveness Research funded
46 innovative research projects on the effects of forgiveness. Now
you can read about their discoveries.