June 17, 2015
The National Constitution Center announced Wednesday that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will receive the 2015 Liberty Medal. Each year since 1988 the Liberty Medal has honored men and women who advocate for worldwide liberty. The Dalai Lama will receive the award in a special ceremony on Oct. 26 in recognition of his advocacy for human rights.
The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. at the National Constitution Center. Tickets are limited and will be made available to the public in September.
“In his advocacy for Tibetans and for human rights worldwide, the Dalai Lama has always emphasized the ideals of freedom, dialogue and tolerance. For this reason he embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal, which aims to honor men and women who strive to secure such blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen said.
Born in northeastern Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a Buddhist monk and the country's spiritual leader. At age 2, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso and later assumed full political power in 1950. Since then he has been honored with more than 150 awards, including the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize and the Shine a Light Award in 2011 from Amnesty International.
The Liberty Medal ceremony will be held one month after Pope Francis's visit to Philadelphia in September. Of the back-to-back events, Mayor Michael Nutter said: “The city is fortunate to host two of the world’s most inspirational leaders in such a short time."
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, an education rights activist and the youngest Nobel Laureate ever, was honored with the Liberty Medal in 2014.