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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


The Tibetan Nuns Project will present a multimedia presentation on the plight of Tibetan nuns in exile, "Women of the Spirit," featuring slides and lectures by Rinchen Khando Choegyal and Elizabeth Napper, on Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in Reed's Eliot Hall chapel. The event, sponsored by the Reed anthropology department, is free and open to the public. For more information visit or call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.

Rinchen Khando Choegyal is director of the Tibetan Nuns Project. Former minister of education in the Tibetan government in exile, she is sister-in-law to the Dalai Lama. Choegyal received her traditional Tibetan education in Lhasa, then began her modern education in India and received her B.A. from Loreto College in Darjeeling. She has taught at the Tibetan Homes Foundation, served as sponsorship secretary for the Tibetan Children's Village in Dharamsala, and was president of the Tibetan Women’s Association.

Elizabeth Napper, co-director of the project, is a scholar of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism and author of Dependent-Arising and Emptiness and co-editor of Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, by the Dalai Lama. Napper studied at the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, received her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, and spent two years in India as a Fulbright scholar. She has lived in Dharamsala since 1991 to oversee the Tibetan Nuns Project.

In 1987 the Tibetan Nuns Project was founded to provide basic humanitarian aid to refugee Buddhist nuns from Tibet who have fled imprisonment, torture, and religious persecution under the Chinese rule in their homeland. They have escaped with little but the clothes on their backs, trekking across the Himalayas for weeks to reach a safe haven in India among the Tibetan community in exile there. Food, clothing, housing, and basic medical care have been provided through a sponsorship program that allows donors from around the world to contribute to the effort. Many of the nuns arrive in India unable to read or write in any language, so in 1992 the project began to build the first institute devoted to the education of nuns.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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