On October 21 and 22, Citizen Power Initiatives for China hosted its 14th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference in US Capitol, Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s conference is with theme: Arm Yourself to Lead Change. Twenty-five young leaders representing the Chinese Human Rights community, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongolians, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, Macaues, Christians and Falun Gong practitioners, participated in the conference. Among them are five young Hong Kong leaders from the frontlines of the Hong Kong protests. 

The Conference’s opening ceremony was held in the morning of Oct. 21, Monday, in Room HC-8 in the US Capitol. Founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China opened the conference with a speech entitled “Arm Yourself to Win the New Cold War”. Two worldwide renowned human rights champions, Chairman of US House Tom Lantos Huan Rights Commission Congressman Jim McGovern and Co-Chairman of the Commission Congressman Christ Smith gave keynote speeches.

Earlier, Citizen Power Initiatives for China announced the 2019 Citizen Power Awards were to honor the “Hong Kong Tank Man” and Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Front. At the conference’s opening ceremony, Congressmen Christ Smith and Jim McGovern presented the awards respectively. The Hong Kong Tank Man is the 42 year old Anthony who, out of natural instinct but risking his own life, jumped to the front of Hong Kong police officers who were drawing out guns on protesters and tried to stop them from opening fire while Civil Human Rights Front is a 48-member umbrella organization that has been playing the pivotal role in Hong Kong Democracy Movement, in particular, the current anti-extradition legislation protests.

The rest of the leadership conference was conducted behind the closed doors, which offered a rich and stimulating programs including: presentations by prominent human rights leaders, remarks by and face-to-face discussions with members of US Congress, lectures by experts and practitioners on advocacy with US Government and Congress, non-violent resistance, social media tactics, and coalition building strategies.

The Leadership Conferences, founded by Dr. YANG Jianli, president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China with guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, began in 2000. Past Conferences have been held in locations throughout the world, including Boston, Washington, D.C., California, Taipei, Dharamsala, India and Tokyo, Japan.

Opening Remarks by Dr. Yang Jianli

Speech by Rep. Jim McGovern:

Speech by Rep. Chris Smith:

Speech by Jamie Raskin: