Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Welcomes Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

Pillars of Peace Hawai’i – a program of the Hawai’i Community Foundation – announced today plans to co-host peace leader Aung San Suu Kyi on her visit to O’ahu this month. The trip, which will be Aung San Suu Kyi’s first visit to the islands, will allow her to share her message of peace and compassion while gaining an understanding of Hawai’i’s unique culture, history and aloha spirit. Other organizations co-hosting her visit include Rotary International, East West Center and the Myanmar Association of Hawai’i.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

While in Hawai’i, Aung San Suu Kyi will participate in several private events hosted by Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, including a speech titled “Peace Takes Courage and Compassion,” followed by a question and answer session with public and private high school students. Tickets are being distributed to students through their respective schools.

The general public is invited to view the student event online by tuning in to a live stream on the Pillars of Peace website at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For those unable to watch the live stream starting at 10:25 a.m., the talk will be available for playback after the event concludes.

“We can learn a great deal from Aung San Suu Kyi and her nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. “At the same time, the Pillars of Peace program creates an opportunity to share with global peace leaders Hawai’i’s unique example of multiculturalism to carry with them wherever they go around the world.”

Those wishing to hear Aung San Suu Kyi speak in person can purchase a ticket to the Rotary International’s Rotary Global Peace Forum dinner where Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the keynote speech on Saturday, Jan. 26. More information on the Rotary Global Peace Forum is available at http://peaceforumhawaii.org/.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is part of the ongoing Hawai’i Community Foundation initiative, “Pillars of Peace Hawai’i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” which launched in April 2012 with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. One of the program’s goals is to bring global peace leaders to Hawai’i to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist here in the islands and around the world. Through these visits, the program hopes to spark dialogue about the roles of compassion, diversity and culture as key components for practicing peace.

In addition to hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Pillars of Peace Hawaii has sponsored peace leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Hunter, founder of the World Peace Game for students. Pillars of Peace Hawai’i is a program funded primarily by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, a $50 million charitable fund established in 2009 by Hawai’i residents Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

That's me on the far right taking his picture. (Photo by Dallas Nagata White)

That’s me on the far right taking his picture. (Photo by Dallas Nagata White)

For more information about Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, please visit www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For up-to-date information on Aung San Suu Kyi’s January visit, follow Pillars of Peace Hawai’i on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pillarsofpeace and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PillarsofPeace

ABOUT AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Member of Parliament of the Union of Burma and is a founding member of the National League for Democracy. Early in her career, she worked in the office of the United Nations Secretariat in New York and was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for South East Asian Studies at Kyoto University and the Indian Institute for Advanced Studies in Simla. Following her return to Burma in 1988 and winning an election by popular vote, she was placed under house arrest until 1995, and again during 2000 to 2002 and 2003 to 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi has received more than 120 awards and honors internationally, including: Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo, Norway, 1991); Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (India, 1995); Congressional Gold Medal (USA, 2008); Honorary Canadian Citizenship Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Canada, 2008); and Legion of Honor [Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur] (France, 2012).

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