Feature Story

Justin Baldoni

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Actor Justin Baldoni

Making a Difference Through Entertainment and Social Media

Born in 1984 in Los Angeles, California, Justin Baldoni was raised in Medford, Oregon with a Jewish and Italian background. Raised in the Bahá’í Faith, Baldoni strives to make his work a form of service. He has appeared in television shows and films including Disney Channel’s e Suite Life of Zack & Cody and NBC’s Heroes, which led to a leading role in the award-winning TV show, Jane the Virgin. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke to Baldoni about his experience taking part in the Youth and Leadership Panel at the Dalai Lama’s Global Compassion Summit, the importance of his Bahá’í Faith and how it has become the basis for a few of his current and upcoming projects.

Loretta Sánchez

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Congresswoman and U.S. Senate Candidate Loretta Sánchez

Weighing in on Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons at the World Compassion Summit

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sánchez has represented California in the United States Congress for the past two decades. Her district in Orange County includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove. A graduate of American University’s MBA program, Congresswoman Sánchez holds a senior position on the House Armed Services Committee and is the second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. She is the founder and co-chair of the Women in the Military Caucus, co-chair of the Immigration Task Force, and also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, and the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, preparing the U.S. for missile or nuclear attacks. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie caught up with Loretta Sánchez while she was in Washington, D.C., and talked with her about her role in the Global Compassion Summit.

Walter Munk

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Walter Munk

The World’s Greatest Living Oceanographer Strives to See the Tide Turn in the Battle Against Climate Change

Born in 1917, Walter Munk is an Austrian-born American geophysicist and oceanographer whose groundbreaking studies of ocean currents and wave propagation set the foundation for oceanography as we know it today. He is a professor emeritus of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, where he earned his Ph.D. in oceanography. Also holding a master’s degree in geophysics and a bachelor’s in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), his work in the science of wave prediction became part of the planning for the D-Day landings in 1944, and he has done pioneering research in ocean sound transmission, deep-sea tides and even climate change. He has won numerous awards during his research career, including the National Medal of Science in 1983 and the 1999 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences — the first time it was awarded to an oceanographer. He was the inaugural recipient of the Prince Albert I Medal in the physical sciences of the oceans, which Prince Rainier of Monaco created in cooperation with the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans. He even has an award named in his honor — and in 1993 he was the first recipient of the Walter Munk Award given jointly by the Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Defense Naval Oceanographic Office. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Walter Munk about hisextraordinary career, the Dalai Lama’s 80th ebration and the World Compassion Summit.

Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan

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Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Atmospheric Scientist Believes Religion and Compassion Across Borders are Keys to Stopping Global Warming

Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, known simply as “Ram,” discovered the greenhouse effect of halocarbons in 1975. Along with climatologist Roland Madden, he predicted in 1980 that global warming would be detectable by the year 2000. He is a distinguished professor at the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and oversees a University of California initiative for all 10 campuses to become carbon neutral by 2025. His most recent proposal — that the mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, methane, ozone and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will slow global warming significantly this century — has been adopted by the United Nations and 30 countries. Dr. Ramanathan believes that while science and technology are needed to solve global warming, the underlying solution is to change people’s attitudes toward nature, and to make this happen a religious leader is required. This belief led him to serve on Pope Francis’ Council for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke to Dr. Ramanathan about climate change and his part in the Dalai Lama’s Global Compassion Summit’s panel discussion entitled “The Global Impact of Climate Change.”

Rajiv Mehrotra

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Personal Student, Rajiv Mehrotra

The Trustee the Dalai Lama's Foundation for Universal Responsibility

A close personal student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rajiv Mehrotra is the Trustee and Secretary of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, established by the 14th Dalai Lama with the Nobel Peace Prize funds he received in 1989. In addition, he is a writer, television producer and director, and a documentary filmmaker. He is also well known as the acclaimed host for over 20 years of In Conversation: one of India’s longest running talk shows on public television, that features distinguished interviewees including heads of state and Nobel Laureates. He has published nine books in more than 50 editions and a dozen languages. Mehrotra was educated at the University of Delhi, Oxford University and Columbia University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in film direction. He has been managing trustee, executive producer and commissioning editor of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, which has produced more than 650 independent documentary films that have won more than 230 awards from 1,300 film festival screenings. He has also served on the Government of India’s Steering Committees of the Planning Commission to recommend policy and strategies for information broadcasting and dissemination of information technology. He addressed two plenary sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, held earlier in 2016. At the Forum he was nominated “Global Leader for Tomorrow.” Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Rajiv Mehrotra on the occasion of the 80th birthday celebrations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, about his long association with His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a student, and the lessons that he has tried to learn from his spiritual guide. Among the many issues that he discussed, particularly significant is the one on the challenges of practicing compassion.

Tom Tait

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Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait

The "City of Kindness" Initiative that Brought His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Anaheim, California

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait’s “City of Kindness” initiative was instrumental in His Holiness the Dalai Lama choosing the city of Anaheim to celebrate his 80th birthday in July 2015, as well as in bringing together thought leaders for the Global Compassion Summit in Orange County, California. With a juris doctorate degree and an MBA, Tom Tait has served 10 years on the Anaheim City Council and is in his second four-year term, which began in 2010, as the mayor of Orange County’s most populous city, while also serving as the CEO of an engineering and environmental services firm. He spearheaded Anaheim’s program to help the homeless and introduced “Drug Free Anaheim,” a program that encourages chronic drug users to ask for help at Anaheim police stations in exchange for a free ride to a rehabilitation center. He has also worked toward improving relations between the Anaheim police and residents. Tait is known for standing up for what he believes in, even when this means holding his ground against the city’s corporate giants. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked to Mayor Tait about his trip to India to meet the Dalai Lama and Anaheim’s celebration for the spiritual leader’s 80th birthday.

Dalai Lama

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama Celebrates 80th Birthday at the World Compassion Summit in Anaheim, California

 

BORN to a peasant family in northeastern Tibet in 1935, Lhamo Thondup was only two years old when he was recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama and renamed Tenzin Gyatso (shortened from Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso). From childhood, he was trained as a monk, and as a teenager, he became the head on Tibetan government in their fight against the occupying forces of the People's Republic of China. He has been the leader of the Tibetan government in exile since he fled to India in 1959. He has traveled the world to speak about peace, the welfare of Tibetans, the environment, Buddhism and science, women's rights and economics. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet and became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. From July 5-7, 2015, hundreds of well-wishers attended the three-day Global Compassion Summit to mark the spiritual leader's 80th birthday at the Anaheim Honda Center and the University of California, Irvine in Orange County, California. Special guests at the event included politicians, academics and celebrities who joined His Holiness for discussions related to global compassion, creativity and the arts, youth leadership and climate change. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Dr. Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with a number of these special guests about peace, compassion and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. tj

Photograph by Kevin Baldes

Robert Thurman

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Robert Thurman

Meet the First American Monk of Tibetan Buddhism

Dr. Robert Thurman has some unique distinctions. In 1965, he became the first Westerner to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist Monk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Not only was he a student of the Dalai Lama, but he became the spiritual leader’s tutor, sharing his Harvard University and Phillips Exeter Academy education on topics ranging from psychology to physics and world history. He went on to create the field of “Buddhology.” TIME magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, and The New York Times stated that he “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.” His search for enlightenment began while he was a university student. After losing the use of his left eye from an accident, he left Harvard to go on a spiritual quest through Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He first saw the Dalai Lama in India in 1962. Not long after being ordained, however, he decided he could be more effective in a university than a monastery, and in 1967 he resigned his monk’s vows of celibacy and went on to obtain an M.A. as well as a Ph.D. in Sanskrit Studies from Harvard University in 1972. He is now a Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University (the first endowed chair in this field of study in the U.S.). He is also President of Tibet House US, a nonprofit organization he co-founded with actor Richard Gere and two others dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization. He’s also President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur. He is a speaker and an author of books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture. His daughter, who also serves on the Board of Trustees of Tibet House US, is the Academy Award-nominated actress Uma Thurman. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke to Robert Thurman about the Global Compassion Summit and 80th birthday celebration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Buddhism, his extraordinary life and his current projects.



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