Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 09:34:03 -0400
From: "David Jacobs" [email protected]
Oct. 13, 1995RELEASE ON RECEIPT OBERLIN STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET TO HOLDFIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE OCT. 27-29
Editors Please note: speakers bios and conference schedule are enclosed. OBERLIN, OHIO – Following a recent speech given to a crowd of 500 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Harvard University, the Boston Globe noted that the "free Tibet" movement. . . is rapidly becoming a campus cause celebre for the 1990s, popular among student activists, much as ending apartheid in South Africa was in the 80s.
Students at Oberlin College will take up the cause further when Oberlins chapter of Students for a Free Tibet presents the first ever Students for a Free Tibet National Conference during the weekend of October 27-29. Fifteen international leaders of the Tibetan Independence will come to Oberlin, including venerable Takstar Rinpoche, elder brother of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also featured will be a panel of Tibetan student activists who will share their perspectives on the Independence movement and answer questions.
The conference will highlight the universal importance of Tibetan independence and develop strategies for achieving this soon. Friday nights opening presentation will provide an overall introductory framework about Tibetan issues. Saturday s events will focus on developing a strong informational base as a springboard for political action. Participants will discuss the philosophical premises that that shape Tibetan politics and witness first-hand reports of the human rights violations plaguing Tibet. After a home-cooked Tibetan dinner, Oberlin College president Nancy Dye will introduce the keynote speaker, Takstar Rinpoche. Sunday s focus will be current activism: what students can do now to help further the cause of Tibetan Independence. A workshop on educational outreach about Tibetan Issues will be followed by our final brunch and a national meeting of Students for a Free Tibet to formulate and ratify policy for the next year.
"More than 40 colleges and universities have been invited to the meeting, which will focus on education and social action," says Oberlin sophomore David Jacobs, co-founder of the Oberlin Students for a Free Tibet. Several hundred students from campuses nationwide are expected to attend, as well as members of other US groups promoting the preservation of Tibetan culture and its freedom from Chinese occupation Student activism on the issue has grown exponentially over the last year, with the formation of some 40 free-Tibet student groups across the country, including the Oberlin chapter, which was founded last spring. Jacobs, who journeyed to Boston with other Oberlin chapter members for the Dalai Lama’s appearance, says "His Holiness stressed the importance of the education and the development of universal compassion." The conference will also discuss "how best to raise awareness of the issue in a responsible and complete way," says Thomas Kriegsmann, another Oberlin chapter member.
Other speakers at the Oct. 27-29 conference will include Jon Ackerly, the director of the International Campaign for Tibet; Jon Garfunkel from the Tibet Education Network; Erin Potts, co-founder of the Milarepa Fund; John Hocevar, the national director of Students for a Free Tibet; Lobsang Sangay and Tenzin Lodoe from the Tibetan Youth Congress; Dechen Wangdu of the Tibetan Women s Association; Thupten Tsering of the School for International Training; Tibetan social activist and physician Blake Kerr; and John Dunne, a leading expert in Tibetan philosophy and a graduate student at Harvard.
For further information about the Oberlin conference Oct. 27-29 and other free Tibet organizations, contact Seth Houston at (216) 775-4023. The Oberlin Students for a Free Tibet web site is located at http://www.oberlin.edu/~sfftibet