Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu win Fetzer award

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Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu to be Awarded First Fetzer Prize for Their Work to Advance Love, Forgiveness and Compassion

Fetzer Institute will present each a $100,000 prize at 2009 Peace Summit in Vancouver, Canada. is Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will be awarded the Fetzer Institute’s Prize for Love and Forgiveness this Sunday at the 2009 Peace Summit in Vancouver. Each will receive a $100,000 monetary prize to support their work and a handcrafted, inscribed journal. The Archbishop Emeritus’ daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, will accept the prize on his behalf.

The Institute’s Prize honors the courage and persistence with which His Holiness and Archbishop Emeritus Tutu have both worked to bring love, compassion and forgiveness to all that they do, as well as their ability to inspire these same impulses in others around the world.

“Love, compassion and forgiveness have the power to change, the power to heal and the power to transform any situation–no matter how violent or troubled–into something that is generative and life-giving,” said Tom Beech, president and CEO of the Institute. “The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu are renowned, revered, respected and loved the world over. In giving this award, the Fetzer Institute celebrates their humanity and the consistency with which their lives stand for compassion in the face of isolation, love in the face of fear and forgiveness in the face of violence.”

By presenting the Institute’s first Prize for Love and Forgiveness jointly to both men, the Fetzer Institute recognizes the rich friendship and profound joy shared by His Holiness and Archbishop Emeritus Tutu. The men dedicate their lives to promoting human dignity–lending their voices and leadership to a broad spectrum of issues.

As part of the Fetzer Institute’s work to promote the awareness of the power of love, forgiveness and compassion, the Institute is the primary sponsor of the Charter for Compassion, a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community. The Charter is the result of noted author and scholar Karen Armstrong’s one wish to change the world. The Charter for Compassion will be unveiled formally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, November 12, 2009.

“As the Charter’s primary sponsor, Fetzer will have an exciting opportunity to support a worldwide conversation about the need for greater compassion in the world,” noted Shirley Showalter, Vice President of Programs.

Through the Prize, its sponsorship of the Charter for Compassion and other key programs, the Fetzer Institute hopes to inspire people everywhere to advance love and forgiveness in their own lives and communities–forming deeper connections and calling all people to act compassionately.

The award ceremony will be Web cast at 12:30 pm ET, Sunday, September 27. To view the Web cast, and to learn more about the Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness and the Charter for Compassion, visit www.fetzer.org.

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About the Fetzer Institute: The Fetzer Institute is a private operating foundation based in Kalamazoo, Mich. that engages with people and projects around the world to help bring the power of love, forgiveness and compassion to the center of individual and community life. Founded by broadcast pioneer John E. Fetzer, the Institute carries out its mission by sharing compelling stories of love and forgiveness at work in the world; by convening conversations to help community leaders explore the practical application of love and compassion in their work; and by supporting scientific research to understand how to increase the human capacity for love, compassion and forgiveness. While the Fetzer Institute is not a religious organization, it honors and learns from a variety of spiritual traditions.