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His Holiness To Speak At Maria Shriver's Women Conference
CaliforniaWomen.org[Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:00]
Press Release

California First Lady Maria Shriver Announces the Dalai Lama Will Deliver Historic Address at the 20th Annual California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women

Visit is Dalai Lama's First-Ever Address to a Women's Conference

Los Angeles, August 30 - California First Lady Maria Shriver today announced that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at the Long Beach Convention Center. This historic event marks the first time the Dalai Lama has addressed a women's conference.

"I'm very honored that Maria Shriver asked me to come and speak to the women of California," the Dalai Lama said. "I have always believed that women have a unique role in society. Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment."

Shriver traveled to North India in early August on a personal trip to meet with His Holiness and extend a formal invitation to speak at the conference. During their August 4th meeting, the Dalai Lama discussed the themes he will touch on in his speech. He will encourage the women in attendance to be mindful of the interconnectedness to all things, to practice compassion with confidence and courage, and to balance their fast-paced, busy lives through inner reflection. He also stated a belief that women, in all the vital roles they play in society, can influence the world by leading with kindness and resolute compassion.

"I am so grateful to His Holiness for accepting my invitation to speak at this year's California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women," said Shriver. "When I met with His Holiness in Dharamsala, I was particularly moved by his belief that women are the caretakers and educators of our future citizens and society. What I think women will find challenging, but interesting, is to consider how perhaps by doing less, we can do more."

Some 60 world-renowned speakers and panelists are scheduled to participate in this year's conference including Martha Stewart, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Tyra Banks, Tim Russert, Maureen Dowd, Anna Quindlen, Suze Orman and Elle Macpherson.

Following a thirty-minute speech slated to begin at 5:00 p.m., His Holiness will field questions from the audience, after which he will guide the estimated 11,000 attendees in a brief meditation exercise. The Dalai Lama's remarks will come immediately after Shriver's presentation of the third annual Minerva Awards, recognizing six exceptional California women for their undaunted courage and devotion to serving others. Created by Shriver in 2004, the Minerva Awards are named after the Roman Goddess of Wisdom and Justice, portrayed on the California State Seal, who symbolizes the dual nature of woman as warrior and peacemaker. Minerva Award recipients have made extraordinary contributions to California in the areas of the Arts, Health and Sciences, Community Activism, Business and Technology, Motherhood, Innovation, Education and Lifetime Achievement. The recipients of the 2006 Minerva Awards will be announced in early September.

The general session of the conference sold out in a record 72 hours, but conference organizers have announced that they will release a new block of "afternoon-only session" tickets in the upper (Loge) sections of the arena. A limited number of tickets will be released and are expected to sell out quickly. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, September 6, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. for the price of $40 and will be available for purchase at www.CaliforniaWomen.org.


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was born Tenzin Gyatso in 1935, in the small village of Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born the fifth of sixteen children to a farming family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are considered the manifestations of the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people. In 1950, at age 16, His Holiness was called upon to assume his full role as the Dalai Lama, and in 1959 he went into exile in India. Since 1960 he has resided in Dharamsala, in northern India. His Holiness is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West. During his travels abroad, His Holiness has spoken strongly for better understanding and respect among the different faiths of the world. His Holiness has made numerous appearances at interfaith services, imparting a message of universal responsibility, love, compassion and kindness. His Holiness was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1989.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver host the California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women, the largest and most dynamic one-day gathering of women in the nation. Now in its 20th year, the annual non-partisan conference continues its tradition of inspiring and empowering the women of California to be "Architects of Change" with the theme of "Connect Today, Seize Tomorrow." This year's conference showcases a dynamic, eclectic lineup of over 60 world-renowned speakers and panelists, all pioneers in their respective fields, including: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Martha Stewart, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Tyra Banks, Tim Russert, Maureen Dowd, Anna Quindlen, Suze Orman and Elle Macpherson. BP returns as the honorary premier conference sponsor. All Californians will have access to significant portions of the conference via cable television broadcasts, free downloadable podcasts, and a free streaming Live Webcast of the main stage sessions from the conference at www.CaliforniaWomen.org.

The First Lady will recognize six California women who have made a lasting impact on the state through service with the 3rd annual Minerva Awards, sponsored by Target. The Minervas of Tomorrow program, also sponsored by Target, invites 500 outstanding young women to attend and participate in all aspects of the Conference, including special sessions with Tyra Banks and Suze Orman. The California Women's Conference Scholars Program grants four $25,000 scholarships to help California women complete their undergraduate college education. The scholarship awards will be announced at the conference. A call for volunteerism and community service will continue to be the centerpiece of the conference. In association with the California Service Corps (CSC), Volunteer Village will feature more than 40 non-profit organizations connecting attendees to volunteer opportunities across California. The CSC will also preview its new volunteer match network, a statewide web-based volunteer matching tool for all Californians. For the second year, a wide array of California-native produce, cuisine and products will be showcased at the California Marketplace, sponsored by Safeway, to promote healthy, organic eating and living.

For more information on the 2006 California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women, or to register for a press credential, go to www.CaliforniaWomen.org.
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