Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dave Miner and the Dalai Lama

On a recent Friday in May, David Miner (the chair of Bread for the World's board of directors), found himself face-to-face with his His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  He was one of the lucky ones who had an opportunity to greet the revered Buddhist leader in person.

On that day, 9,500 people packed Conseco Field House in Indianapolis to hear Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, deliver a message of peace, love and the importance of interfaith connections.

As volunteer executive director of the Interfaith Hunger Initiative in Indianapolis, Dave was part of the committee that planned the events surrounding the visit of the Nobel Peace Laureate to Indiana.  The IHI cosponsored the event with the the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) and the Indiana Buddhist CenterIHI members include faith leaders and laity from two dozen congregations including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh congregations

The Dalai Lama also spoke at Indiana University the previous day.

Here are a couple of other reports that include video:
Dalai Lama's Final Teaching and Lasting Message

Anti-Hunger Efforts in Kenya, Indianapolis
The sponsors used the talk as an opportunity to raise money for feeding efforts in Indianapolis and Kenya. "There is such widespread interest in his message that we were able to attract attendance of 9,500 people," said Dave. "The $25 ticket price generated significant revenue for the co-hosts, including IHI."

The IHI said the money collected from the admission fee will be used to cover the cost of school lunches for 1,500 children in Kenya for a year.  Locally,the funds will procure a quarter million pounds of food, "helping us to strengthen the pantry system in Indianapolis and doing a school lunch for 1,500 children in Kenya," said Dave.

Thanks to Bread activists in Indianapolis, the IHI is also promoting legislative advocacy efforts among its members, including Offerings of Letters.  "Many of the congregations have begun doing OL's for the first time," said Dave.

Many of those in attendance at Conseco Field House also learned about the anti-hunger advocacy efforts in Indianapolis.  "We ran a video on the big TV screens for an hour before the program began which overviewed IHI and included Bread," said Dave.  View a YouTube video

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