Tibetan youth from six states in the United States are participating in the fourth annual Tibetan Youth Leadership Program being organized by the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, D.C. from June 14 to 19, 2004. This program is aimed at providing theoretical and practical training to encourage and empower young Tibetans to take leadership roles in their communities and within the Tibet movement.

The first two youth leadership programs were held in Washington, D.C. while the third was held in Brussels in 2003 for Tibetan youth in Europe.

“This year’s program is being held in a presidential election year and the participants will get a close experience of democracy at work, and the forces that are brought to bear within the political process,” said Tenzin Dhongthog, Program Coordinator.

The program is designed to provide Tibetan youth hands-on contact with the workings of the US Government, Congress, international human rights organizations, and advocacy groups. The program will also provide practical training in lobbying and media work. There will be interactive workshops on translating commitment into action and discussions on the policy of nonviolence, working inside Tibet and cross-cultural outreach, with fieldtrips to the Tibetan language broadcast services at the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

The Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari, and the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas, Nawang Rabgyal, will discuss with program participants current policy considerations of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, including on Tibet-China contact. Well known Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu will give a Chinese perspective on Tibetan issues.

“ICT is privileged to work with young Tibetan men and women, and the small role we may have in developing their leadership skills is an important part of our work and service to the Tibetan people”, said Mary Beth Markey, ICT Executive Director.

The Capital Area Tibetan Association will host a reception for the participants at the conclusion of the program.