THE NATIONAL Constitution Center yesterday announced that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet will receive the 2015 Liberty Medal in Philadelphia in October.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was chosen in recognition of his advocacy for human rights worldwide, according to a Constitution Center news release. The center has bestowed the award annually since 1989 to honor those "of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe."
"I am delighted as a recipient to be in the company of so many other inspirational leaders. I have made it my life's work to spread the message of kindness and compassion and I can think of no better place to be recognized than in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection," the Dalai Lama, 79, said in the news release.
The award will be given during the 27th annual Liberty Medal award ceremony at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, at the National Constitution Center in Independence National Historical Park.
A limited number of tickets to the ceremony will be made available to the general public in September. The event will be broadcast on 6ABC.
"In his advocacy for Tibetans and for human rights worldwide, the Dalai Lama has always emphasized the ideals of freedom, dialogue and tolerance," National Constitution Center president Jeffrey Rosen said.
"His compassion and tolerance embody the very spirit of this special award and our city," Mayor Nutter said.
The Dalai Lama's visit will take place one month after Pope Francis' visit during the World Meeting of Families.
"The city is fortunate to host two of the world's most inspirational leaders in such a short time," Nutter said.
Past Liberty Medal recipients have included former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and William Clinton, and former South African presidents F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.