His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, recently learned that Cincinnati, Ohio’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center isn’t just about slavery. The museum on the northern banks of the Ohio river has many exhibits dedicated to freedom from the American tradition of slavery; but it honors modern day freedom heroes as well.
Just last week, Lobsang Nyandak, the Dalai Lama’s representative, visited the Freedom Center on his leader’s behalf. The final arrangements he made with the staff will pave the way for the Dalai Lama to visit Cincinnati.
International Freedom Conductor Award
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center staff will welcome the Dalai Lama to Cincinnati on October 20, 2010. He will be the honored guest at an awards luncheon where they will present His Holiness with the International Freedom Conductor Award.
According to Freedom Center Director, Donald Murphy, His Holiness was selected to receive the award for his “..tireless efforts on behalf of Tibet – and his life-long advocacy of freedom and peace for all people.” The Freedom Center presents this prestigious award to “individuals and organizations that have been conspicuous and effective champions of freedom.”
Past recipients of the award are civil rights advocate, Rosa Parks; South African Bishop, Desmond Tutu and, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, jointly for their efforts on behalf of Hurricane Katrina and South Asian tsunami victims.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama
His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in 1935 to a farm family in Northeastern Tibet. At age two, he was named 14th Dalai Lama, reincarnation of 13th Dalai Lama, Thubo Gyatso. He began his monastic education at age six, and passed with honors, earning a Geshe Lharampa degree, equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy.
After a 1949 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was called to full political leadership in 1950. In 1959, His Holiness was forced into exile by the suppression of a Tibetan uprising by Chinese troops. The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharamsala, Northern India since then. The city has become the seat of Tibetan political administration in exile..
The Dalai Lama lives his life based on three main commitments:
-The promotion of human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self discipline.
-The promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world’s major religious traditions.
-A commitment to the Tibetan issue and to acting as a free spokesperson on behalf of the Tibetan struggle for justice.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to accept the International Freedom Conductor Award, speak to the audience, then answer questions.
The event will be held at the Cincinnati Duke Energy Center on October 20, 2010 and is open to the public. See the Freedom Center website for ticket information.
Doors open at 11:00 am. The event begins at 11:30 and will conclude at 2:00 pm.