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Whitman connects community with Dalai Lama

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This weekend, Whitman College will host a live feed of a conversation with the Dalai Lama and a delegation from the state, chaired by Washington’s Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib.

The public event is 6:30 p.m. Sunday in Whitman’s Maxey Auditorium.

The Dalai Lamas are considered the spiritual leaders of Tibetan Buddhists. Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama; he lives as a refugee in Indian, online sources say.

The Whitman presentation is part of the Compassion 2020 program, a partnership between the Association of Washington Generals and Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The program is aimed at modeling compassionate leadership in the next decade, Whitman officials said.

The delegation, which will travel overseas for the occasion, includes members of the Association of Washington Generals and other civic leaders, as well as six high school students from around the state.

During his last visit to Washington over 10 years ago, the Dalai Lama urged Washingtonians to exercise compassion, set aside differences and connect with others, according to a news release from Whitman.

Topics for Sunday’s discussion will include mitigating climate change, overcoming inequality and improving civil discourse in politics.

Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions.

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Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers education in the Walla Walla Valley. She also writes a column, Home Place, usually highlighting family life and slices of local life.