CINCINNATI -- The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center announced today that His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, will accept the International Freedom Conductor Award (IFCA).
The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his unstinting advocacy of freedom for his native Tibet, will be honored at a lunch at the Duke Energy Center on October 20, said Freedom Center CEO & President, Donald W. Murphy.
"We are tremendously honored and gratified that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, will accept our Freedom Conductor Award, which goes to individuals and organizations that have been conspicuous and effective champions of freedom," Murphy said. "The Dalai Lama's tireless efforts on behalf of Tibet -- and his life-long advocacy of freedom and peace for all people -- are in the finest traditions of those abolitionists who fought for the eradication of slavery in the 18th and 19th Centuries."
Previous IFCA honorees have included civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu and, most recently, in 2007, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, for their joint work in raising donations for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and the South Asian tsunami.
The Dalai Lama will receive the IFCA honor, speak and answer audience questions at a luncheon event at the Duke Energy Center. Additional details about arrangements, tickets, etc., will be released later, Murphy said.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in northeastern Tibet. In 1950 His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949. But following the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops in 1959, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India, the seat of the Tibetan political administration in exile.
In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.
Since 1959 His Holiness has received more than 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books.
About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River, the Freedom Center celebrates the legacy of courage and multicultural cooperation embodied in the story of the Underground Railroad. Of equal importance, the Freedom Center uses a wide array of exhibits to educate the public about the historic and continuing struggle to establish universal freedom in both the U.S. and around the world.