His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the very young age of two, the child who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are believed to be enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

After completing a rigorous, monastic education starting from age six, in 1959 he was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest-level degree, equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy. 

In 1950, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949/50. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. But finally, in 1959, with the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

His Holiness has travelled to more than 67 countries spanning 6 continents. He has received over 150 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion.  He has also authored or co-authored more than 110 books.

On 29 May 2011, His Holiness signed into law the formal transfer of his temporal power to the democratically elected leadership and continues as only the spiritual leader of Tibet. This brought to an end the 368-year old tradition of the Dalai Lamas being both spiritual and temporal head of Tibet.

 

 

Tichina Arnold

Tichina Arnold is a two-time NAACP Image Award winning actress.  Her first Image Award was for her role as Pam Jones on the hit T.V. series "Martin."  Her second award was for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her first season starring in the critically acclaimed comedy “Everybody Hates Chris,” a series inspired by the childhood experiences of comedian Chris Rock.  Tichina plays Rochelle Rock, Chris' (Tyler James Williams) strict, sassy mother, who runs the household on a tight budget, but is the glue that holds the family together.

Tichina worked on another hit T.V. series "Happily Divorced" which starred Fran Drescher of "The Nanny" and Rita Moreno, the Academy and Tony Award-winning actress. Tichina played Judi, Fran's best friend who does her best to help guide the newly divorced Fran back into the world of dating after having been married to a gay man for 18 years. 

Tichina is presently starring on Starz original comedy series “Survivors Remorse.” A comedy about a basketball phenom in his early twenties who suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team. Tichina plays Cassie Calloway, a proud mother of Cam Calloway and ready to live a comfortable life as a baller’s mother. She is bash and unafraid of the consequences of her actions. But she is the family’s rock and despite her gaffes, wants to do what’s right.

Tichina has also appeared on television in “Ryan’s Hope,” “All My Children,” “The Cosby Show,” “Law & Order,” “The Norm Show,”  “One on One”, “Brothers"  "Raising Hope" and "Let's Stay Together." Her animation credits include “American Dad”, “The Boondocks” and presently the voice of the “Pink Pill” wireless speaker by Beats By Dre.

In film, she has starred in “Big Momma's House” with Martin Lawrence, the critically acclaimed “Civil Brand,” as well as “Dancing in September,” “Scenes from a Mall”, “The Little Shop of Horrors” and the blockbuster comedy “Wild Hogs,” starring Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy and John Travolta.

She starred in her first dramatic role titled, “The Lena Baker Story”, co-starring Peter Coyote, Beverly Todd and Michael Rooker.  She plays the title role of Baker, the first Georgia woman sent to the electric chair.  Baker became a virtual sex slave to her white employer (Peter Coyote) and killed him, claiming self-defense. Tichina is also featured in Lifetime’s “A Day Late A Dollar Short” starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ving Rhames based on a novel written by Terry MacMillan, “Transformers 2”, "Stolen Child", “Summoned”, "The Great Divide",  “Dance Flick” and “Top Five” starring Chris Rock and Kevin Hart.

After getting her first taste of performing in front of her family's church congregation at age 4, Tichina began vocal training and appearing on stage at an early age.  She first appeared in “The Me Nobody Knows” at Brooklyn’s Billie Holiday Theatre, followed by “Hair,” “Romance and Hard Times,” and “Haggadah” at The Joseph Papp Theatre.  In 2004, she toured in the lead role of the musical hit “If These Hips Could Talk,” which broke box office records in over 55 cities.  In 2007, she starred in a holiday play, written and directed by Debbie Allen called “Alex in Wonderland.”  She also appeared in the revival production of “The Wiz” as the villainous Evilene at the City Center in New York and has recently appeared in the Off-Broadway smash “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”.

Tichina has also helped lend her time and help raise more awareness and money for those who are sick and in need, having worked with several organizations over the years. She and her sister formed the We Win Foundation which helps individuals, as well as the families/caregivers who support those suffering with Lupus and other related autoimmune diseases.

In between acting jobs, Tichina loves performing her music with her band “KNOW Pressure.” She and KNOW Pressure have been playing regularly to packed audiences throughout the greater Los Angeles area.