Ten Tibetan students from colleges in Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State participated in the International Campaign for Tibet’s 2018 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) held in Washington, DC from June 2 to 9, 2018.
During their program, they participated in workshops, team-building exercises, meetings with congressional leaders and Administration officials, and interaction with civil society advocates. Speakers talked to them about relevance of the Tibet Movement in the United States; Chinese perspective of the Tibetan issue; US-China relations; role of civil society in shaping American foreign policy; meditation, and work of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).
They spent a full day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and staffers advocating for their support to initiatives on Tibet, including the Reciprocal Access to Tibet. They visited the State Department, as part of their exposure to the US political and foreign policy process, understanding the Administration’s work on Tibet. They also met with the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.
The participants visited the Office of Tibet where they heard from the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ngodup Tsering, about the priorities of the Central Tibetan Administration. They also had network sessions with Tibetan American professionals and students in the Washington, DC area.
As part of developing their communication skills, participants visited Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, and several of them took part in live and recorded discussions by the Tibetan services on Tibet and their experience in Washington, DC.
TYLP is organized by ICT and is designed to educate and motivate Tibetan American youth to become engaged citizens and leaders in the community. Participants were selected to join the program based on their academic achievement, leadership potential, and an essay on “What it takes to be a leader in the Tibetan community”.