The Institute's prize honors the courage and persistence with which His Holiness and Archbishop Tutu have each worked to incorporate love, compassion, and forgiveness into all that they do, and their ability to inspire these same qualities 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. He continued, "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 to both men, the Fetzer Institute recognizes the rich friendship and common goals shared by His Holiness and Archbishop Emeritus Tutu. These men have dedicated their lives to promoting human dignity, lending their voices and leadership to a broad spectrum of issues.
The Institute is also 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 Karen Armstrong's efforts to change the world, and will be unveiled formally in Washington, D.C., on 12 November 2009. By sponsoring this charter, "Fetzer will have an exciting opportunity to support a worldwide conversation about the need for greater compassion in the world," noted Shirley Showalter, Fetzer's 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 upon all people to act compassionately. The Institute, founded by broadcast pioneer John E. Fetzer, also supports scientific research to discover how to increase the human capacity for love, compassion, and forgiveness.
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.