Skip To Content
- Blog -
Topic Search

Holland America Line Establishes the Shared Humanity Award and Bestows First Honor on Archbishop Desmond Tutu

To further strengthen its commitment to the transformative power of travel and the belief that connecting people from different cultures opens minds, builds connections and inspires shared humanity, Holland America Line is establishing the Shared Humanity Award to be given annually starting this year. The award will be presented to a leader and change-maker who has dedicated their life to inspiring others to see that the things that unite us are greater than those that divide us.

Orlando Ashford and Gerald Bernhoft, director Mariner Society, present Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Shared Humanity Award.

Orlando Ashford and Gerald Bernhoft, director Mariner Society, present Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Shared Humanity Award.

Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford bestowed the first Shared Humanity Award on Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in recognition of his lifetime spent championing equality, inclusion and peace. The Archbishop attended the program on April 4, 2018, aboard Amsterdam in Cape Town during a stop on its Grand World Voyage. Guests also heard highlights of the Archbishop’s remarkable life from Robert V. Taylor, president of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, who was in Cape Town for the event. Also in attendance was Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.

Back row, from left: Donald, Amsterdam Captain Jonathan Mercer, Taylor and Ashford. Front row from left: Leah and Archbishop Tutu.

Back row, from left: Donald, Amsterdam Captain Jonathan Mercer, Taylor and Ashford. Front row: Leah and Archbishop Tutu.

Ashford presented a $40,000 donation on behalf of Holland America Line to the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in commemoration of the award. Holland America Line’s Shared Humanity Award – together with a menu from dinner on board Amsterdam following the award program – will be showcased in the Archbishop’s museum once completed in Cape Town.

Ashford presented Robert V. Taylor, president of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, with a $40,000 check.

Ashford presented Robert V. Taylor, president of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, with a $40,000 check.

“Holland America Line is guided by the belief that travel changes the way we look at the world and helps create a path toward acceptance. By establishing the Shared Humanity Award, we can pay tribute to those who have inspired us and millions of others,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are incredibly honored to give the first Shared Humanity Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s foremost human rights activists and spiritual leaders, who has dedicated his life to spreading peace, freedom, justice and democracy around the globe.”

Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Tutu, the first black African to serve as Archbishop of Cape Town, and his work forging racial equality — beginning with his opposition to apartheid in South Africa — is renowned throughout the world. His leadership of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has offered a blueprint to nations across the globe seeking to recover from war, conflict and brutality. The Archbishop is known for his unshakable optimism in the face of overwhelming odds and his limitless faith in the ability of people to do good works. Over the last decade and a half he has been an outspoken voice for women’s leadership, girls’ education and LGBT rights, addressing climate change and seeking to end the practice of child brides.

Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007 and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

“There are many ways to celebrate Archbishop Emeritus Tutu — peacemaker, reconciler, champion of human rights of every kind, recipient of countless awards and hundreds of honorary doctorates, but this humble man who treads the face of the earth lightly loves the simplicity of being called ‘Father’,” said Robert V. Taylor, president of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation. “In the spirit of Holland America Line’s Shared Humanity Award we are invited to be inspired by what the Archbishop often says: Do your bit of good wherever you are because every bit of good adds up to change the world.”

About the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation
The Archbishop and his wife, Leah, founded the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, a nonprofit organization engaging and equipping young people to be peacemakers and change agents. For more information visit tutufoundationusa.org.

17 Comments
  • Joseph Boutin

    Your website is very difficult to navigate. I just wanted to find repositioning cruises for the spring. Try it!

  • Julie

    Hi Joseph, are you searching on the Blog (where you are now) or on HollandAmerica.com, the main website?

  • Miki Elizondo

    Thrilling to read about Holland America’s Shared Humanity Award presentation to Desmond Tutu. Makes us proud to sail with Holland America.

    Mike and Miki Elizondo

  • Peter & Kathy kalunian

    Well Deserved! My spiritual hero. Makes us proud to sail on HAL.

  • isaac

    Glad to hear of this award to Bishop Tutu. I wish it was announced early enough so othe mariners who were interested could have attended this historical ceremony. Congrats and Thanh you to Mr. orlando asford on this historic moment.

  • Pamela Butler

    Congratulations to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on receiving the 1st Shared Humanity Award from Holland American Line’s President, Orlando Ashford.
    He is the quintessential humanitarian to be honored as the 1st recipient of your phenomenal award.
    We would love to have been there!

    Pamela & John

  • Elaine Price

    I congratulate Holland America on its Shared Humanity Award.
    I would like to point out there are many of your passengers who volunteer on various aspects of humanitarian issues. They are called Rotarians, Lions etc. Unfortunately it is very difficult to get a service club meeting on your ships, I hope you may consider giving these humanitarians a chance to meet each other whilst enjoying a wonderful cruise. You never know you may find your next Humanitarian on one of your ships.

  • Julie

    Thank you, Elaine! We agree that we have some amazing guests. We appreciate your feedback and will pass along your comments for review. In the meantime, next time you cruise speak with the entertainment director to see if this gathering can be arranged.

  • David Moody

    Congratulations to the Carnival Corporation on creating the Shared Humanity Award and honoring one of humanity’s heros…Archbishop Tutu.

  • christina Kowalski

    What wonderful things Holland America has done around the world supporting countries and peoples. I’m so proud to be a long time Mariner…and I know my father who was their agent many years ago, is smiling down from Heaven on this company that he worked so hard for. Thank you.

  • Denise Nichols

    Congratulations Archbishop Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu. So pleased to hear about this wonderful award which will benefit the work of your foundation.
    We recently travelled on HA for the first time and enjoyed it very much.
    We too are former refugee workers and Anglicans enjoying a special treat in retirement.
    Denise and Alan Nichols

  • Wayne Sanders

    Thanks for honoring a inspirational and loving person ,Archbishop Tutu. may Holland America continue to honor such noteworthy individuals and their work.

  • Robert

    Great to see the honor given to such a deserving recipient. Looking forward to cruising on Holland America some day…I am Catholic and according to this website
    https://thecatholictravelguide.com/cruises/will-catholic-priest-cruise/

    you have a Catholic priest on all of your cruises. I hope you continue to do so.

  • Julie

    Yes, we do! We have a Catholic priest on all cruises. Hope to welcome you onboard soon.

  • Robert

    I was in the Queen’s Lounge when Desmond was given this $40,000 grant. We passengers were excited about his being aboard and receiving the grant. We all dressed up in our finery as a measure of respect. There was as slideshow of Desmond Tutu with other “well-knowns” before the ceremony. He did not make a speech. Basically, he listened to the accolades for him before the presentation, stood up, said “Thank you” and sat down. For the passengers? Much ado about nothing.

  • Nancy Stehfest

    So pleased our family selected a cruise line for our special trip that recognizes the importance of humanity appreciating humanity.

  • Elizabeth Ferguson

    Congratulations Holland America Line, I am always praising your company, have done a few cruises with you. An excellent idea to award a Shared Humanity Award. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*