April 25, 2024 6:30pm

The Role of the Modern Tibetan Intellectual: Dr. Gyal Lo, Prof. Robert Thurman, and Lhadon Tethong in conversation on the contributions of Gung Thang Rinpoche

The Role of the Modern Tibetan Intellectual: Dr. Gyal Lo, Prof. Robert Thurman, and Lhadon Tethong in conversation on the contributions of Gung Thang Rinpoche

Dr. Gyal Lo | Lhadon Tethong | Robert A.F. Thurman

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Thursday, April 25

6:30-8:30 pm ET

Free | Hybrid

 

This book launch event at Tibet House will feature a wide-ranging conversation between pioneering Tibetan sociologist Dr. Gyal Lo and Professor Robert Thurman, moderated by acclaimed activist Lhadon Tethong. The event will launch Dr. Gyal Lo’s groundbreaking book on the life of the Sixth Gung Thang Rinpoche, and conversations will revolve around Rinpoche’s monumental contributions to Tibetan culture, literature, and identity. Gung Thang Rinpoche was one of the most influential Tibetan scholars of the last century, and Dr. Gyal Lo had a front row view of how Rinpoche survived the tumultuous events of the Cultural Revolution and played a pivotal role in reviving Tibetan language and culture in the 1980s.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signed by the author at the event. The event is free and open to the public.

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Title:
The Role of the Modern Tibetan Intellectual: Dr. Gyal Lo, Prof. Robert Thurman, and Lhadon Tethong in conversation on the contributions of Gung Thang Rinpoche

Time:
Thursday, Apr 25, 2024 06:30 PM

Timezone:
America/New_York

Featuring

Dr. Gyal Lo is a Tibetan activist, educational sociologist, and a leading expert on China’s assimilation and education policies in Tibet.   Born in Tibet, Dr. Lo obtained his master’s degree from the Tibetan Language and Culture Department at Northwestern University for Nationalities in Lanzhou, China. He subsequently became an Assistant Professor in the same department, where he taught for the next decade and undertook extensive research on Tibetan education. After leaving the country to obtain his PhD at the University of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Lo returned home in 2015 but was refused his past employment due to political sensitives over his time abroad.   Dr. Lo’s return to Tibet also brought concerning news of his two grandnieces and their enrolment at a mandatory pre-boarding school. Newly developed at the time, these schools were designed to assimilate and indoctrinate Tibetan children aged 4-6. They exist in addition to boarding schools for Tibetan children aged 6-18.   After witnessing the impacts of pre-boarding school on his grand-nieces, Dr. Lo undertook academic field work for the next five years, visiting over 50 boarding schools and documenting their impacts on the children and their communities at large.   Alongside his academic research, Dr. Lo attained a professorship at Yunnan University in 2017. However, three years into his contract, his position was terminated amidst a worsening political climate in China. Dismissed on the grounds that he was a “foreign Tibetan with a western background,” Dr. Lo would leave the country soon after in December 2020.   Upon resettling in Canada, Dr. Lo decided to speak out and become an activist for the preservation of Tibetan language, culture, and rights. In February 2023, he testified at Canada’s House of Commons’ Subcommittee on International Human Rights with his extensive knowledge of China’s colonial boarding schools in Tibet.  
Lhadon is an award-winning activist and leader of the Tibetan freedom movement who has been organizing and strategizing for Tibet almost all her life. In 2009, she co-founded Tibet Action Institute with a vision of combining cutting-edge technology with strategic nonviolence to design strategies and carry out innovative programs that advance human rights and freedom in Tibet. In 2011, Lhadon was awarded the first annual James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and in 2018 she accepted the Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy on behalf of Tibet Action Institute. Born in Canada to a Tibetan father and Canadian mother, she previously served as the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, building a powerful youth movement for Tibet. A leading spokesperson on Tibet, Lhadon travels the globe educating governments, UN bodies, journalists, academics, and grassroots activists about China’s devastating role in Tibet and the power of strategic nonviolence, combined with new technologies, to affect social change even in the most repressed places on earth. When she’s not running around the world speaking out for Tibet, she’s trying to catch up to her three young children.
Robert Thurman is the President and Founder of Tibet House US. Known in the academic circles as Professor Robert A.F. Thurman, he is a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings and the first Westerner Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A charismatic speaker and author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, Bob was named by The New York Times the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism, and was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2020, for his help in recovering India’s ancient Buddhist heritage. Time Magazine chose him as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.”

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