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Dalai Lama accepts award at CSULB

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The Dalai Lama arrives at the Carpenter Center at Cal State Long Beach to accept the Amnesty International award.

The Dalai Lama arrives at the Carpenter Center at Cal State Long Beach to accept the Amnesty International award.

Victoria Sanchez | Publications

Victoria Sanchez | Publications

The Dalai Lama arrives at the Carpenter Center at Cal State Long Beach to accept the Amnesty International award.

Katrina Guevara, Assistant News Editor

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The Dalai Lama discussed social justice and human rights at the Cal State Long Beach Carpenter Performing Arts Center Wednesday after accepting Amnesty International’s first-ever “Shine a Light” award.

The speech, delivered to a packed auditorium, was part of the nonprofit organization’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The Buddhist leader spoke at multiple universities this week, including USC and UC Irvine. He had canceled some appearances, including one scheduled for Sunday at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, due to a sore throat.

“Good morning … sit down,” the Dalai Lama joked after bowing to the audience.

His speech was dedicated to peace, truth and rights.

Three Roosevelt High School students presented the Dalai Lama with the award. The Tibetan Buddhist leader then gave them white scarves.

“I felt very honored as a high school student to meet someone very important,” Roosevelt high school junior Aurora Bermeo said.

Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director, explained the inaugural award before it was presented to the Dalai Lama.

Cox said, “When the world has been so focused on the power of violence and killing,” it is a good time to celebrate compassion and non-violent human acts.

The executive director also discussed the impact of 3 million Amnesty International supporters.

He said “people around the world have responded to [the appeal of compassion] time and time again.”

According to Cox, Amnesty International isn’t focused solely on its organization, but all those who have fought against social injustice.

“We know what common action can do,” Cox said.

The celebration concluded with a question-and-answer portion that included topics from the DREAM act to China’s Communist Party.

Some Cal State Long Beach students attended the anniversary celebration. But political science major Sonny Aguinaldo said more young people should be involved.

“There’s this lack of awareness, especially with the issues in the Middle East,” he said. “People should be more active. The Dalai Lama is an important figure with human rights.”


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