Dalai Lama visits US civil rights movement heartland

October 28, 2014 2:50 pm0 commentsViews: 140
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Birmingham Mayor William Bell and his wife during his visit to the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on October 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Liesa Cole, OHHDL)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Birmingham Mayor William Bell and his wife during his visit to the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on October 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Liesa Cole, OHHDL)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct28, 2014) – The Dalai Lama on Oct 25 took part in a symposium on Neuroplasticity and Healing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US state of Alabama as a part of the city’s Human Rights Week. The co-panelists were Edward Taub, Michael Merzenich and Norman Doidge. He was invited for the event by the city Mayor William Bell. He also attended an interfaith discussion and gave a talk about secular ethics in our time during the visit.

Also on Oct 25, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet visited the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, which had played a central role during the US civil rights movement of the 1960s and where its leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was a frequent speaker.

A view of the stage at Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), venue for the dialogue on Neuroplasticity and Healing with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on October 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Steve Wood/UAB Photo)

A view of the stage at Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), venue for the dialogue on Neuroplasticity and Healing with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Birmingham, Alabama, USA on October 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy/Steve Wood/UAB Photo)

On Oct 26, the Dalai Lama took part in an interfaith dialogue before a crowd of 2,000 at the Alabama Theater. The co-panelists were Imam Khalid Latif, University Chaplain for New York University; Rev Eric Andrews, President of the Paulist Fathers; Rev Serene Jones, 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and the first woman to head it; Rev Carl Wright, President and CEO of Urban Ministries Inc, a Christian media group; and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a well-known American Orthodox Rabbi.

A pro-Shugden demonstrator belonging to the NKT/ISC suddenly began to heckle the Dalai Lama from a back seat as he spoke. Although the audience objected, it was the Rabbi who shouted him down, rebuking him for disrupting an occasion several thousand people had come to hear and for the rudeness of abusing the Dalai Lama that way.

Later in the afternoon, the Dalai Lama gave a public talk on secular ethics in our time at the Region Fields baseball stadium, joined by Mayor William Bell. More than 10,000 people attended the talk.

The Dalai Lama also met with some 350 Tibetans who had come from Atlanta, New York, New Jersey and Minnesota to show solidarity with him.

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