A 32-year old Tibetan woman born and raised in Canada, Lhadon Tethong is one of the most recognizable faces in the Tibet movement. She has traveled the world to build a powerful youth movement for Tibet, training and inspiring young people to become committed activists for human rights and social justice. She has spoken to countless groups big and small about the situation in Tibet â€“ from a class of elementary schoolchildren to a crowd of 66,000 at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C. She first became involved with Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) in 1996, when she founded a chapter at University of Kingâ€™s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lhadon was a leading force in scoring an unprecedented campaign victory in 2000, when a coalition of Tibet supporters and environmental and human rights activists prevented a World Bank project that would have underwritten the resettlement of tens of thousands of Chinese settlers in Tibet. Since then, she has become a leading figure in the movement for Tibetan independence. In August 2007, in the week preceding the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympics, Lhadon traveled to Beijing where she launched â€˜Beijing Wide Openâ€™ (this blog!) to report on the Olympic preparations and Chinaâ€™s political usage of the Games to legitimize the occupation of Tibet. Her reporting received instant worldwide attention as she openly traveled around the capital, speaking to journalists, calling the International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogges from Tiananmen Square, and representing SFT activists who hung a protest banner on the Great Wall of China on the eve of the one-year countdown. She was detained after nearly one week and deported from China. Lhadon served as co-chair of the Olympics Campaign Working Group of the International Tibet Support Network and played an instrumental role in coordinating and supporting global actions and protests targeting China’s Olympics. She has worked for SFT since March 1999, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet International.
Students for a Free Tibet works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. SFT is a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, SFT campaigns for Tibetansâ€™ fundamental right to political freedom. SFT’s role is to empower and train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.