Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education to be Established in Vancouver

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 17:00

The Dalai Lama will visit Vancouver from September 8 to 10, 2006 to inaugurate the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. The Center, scheduled for completion in 2009, will be a non-political, non-religious cultural institution that is aligned with the Dalai Lama's belief that each person should "develop the heart and work for peace within yourself and the world". The Center will act as a beacon for "educating the heart" through dialogue, education and research.

The Center has an International Advisory Board led by the Dalai Lama. The Board also includes four other Nobel Peace Laureates -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, Jimmy Carter and Mairead Maguire – all of whom will lend their extensive experience to support the Center's objectives.

The Center, inspired by the Dalai Lama's teachings, will reach out and be open to all people, regardless of faith, culture or political affiliation. It will work to strengthen the bonds of human connection among all peoples and to share knowledge and explore principles that encourage people to live well together. The Center will translate the Dalai Lama's teachings on kindness, compassion and interconnectedness into programs directed at creating a more just and harmonious world.

The Center is overseen by four Trustees: Victor Chan, who has known the Dalai Lama for over 30 years and who is also the founding Director of the Center, Evan Alderson, former Dean of Arts at Simon Fraser University, and local business leaders James Hoggan and Thomas E. Rafael. The Trustees are in the process of securing a site and raising funds for the Center.

During his visit, the Dalai Lama will also launch and give keynote addresses at the Vancouver Dialogues 2006. The Vancouver Dialogues will be the first in a regular series of Dialogues to be hosted by the Center. There will be three Dialogues in September:

Educating the Heart. During the morning dialogue, a select group of high school students will engage the Dalai Lama by sharing their stories of compassion in action. The panelists will focus on issues of altruism and intergenerational learning. During the afternoon dialogue, the Dalai Lama will converse with education leaders, policy makers and researchers on the topics of learning compassion, empathy, and courage.

Happiness and Stress as Determinants of Mental Health. This dialogue will focus primarily on ‘happiness’ and life satisfaction—major factors in enhancing both the mental and physical health of individuals and societies. During this dialogue, the Dalai Lama will participate in discussions with leading researchers in the area of happiness and mental health.

Connecting for Change: Corporate and Social Leaders in Dialogue. This dialogue will be devoted to exploring synergies between global and local business and social leaders in a series of intimate, small group conversations.