Brandeis University Archives & Special Collections Acquires Letter from Dalai Lama

Brandeis University Professor Laurence Simon, left, presents the letter from the Dalai Lama to University Archivist Maggie McNeely and University Librarian Matthew Sheehy.The Brandeis University Archives & Special Collections acquired a letter from the Dalai Lama in praise of the founding of CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion.

Professor Laurence Simon presented the letter to the Brandeis Library on June 12 at a small ceremony. The letter reads:
When I meet people, I don’t think about being different from them, about being a Tibetan, a Buddhist or even the Dalai Lama. I only think about being a human being. At the fundamental level we are the same, whether rich or poor, easterner or westerner. We all share the same potential for positive and negative emotions.

I am therefore pleased to know that this journal, CASTE: A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, of Brandeis University is being launched to advance the study of caste and social policies. The caste system, from what I know of its prevalence in any place is really outdated; I feel it is a vestige of feudalism. Through education, as your journal aspires to do, we can promote a sense of the oneness of the seven billion human beings.

With my prayers and good wishes,

The Dalai Lama
22 February 2019
CASTE is an open access and peer-reviewed journal developed by the Center for Global Development and Sustainability at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Brandeis Library.

The journal considers caste in its broadest definition, including the marginalization and hereditary oppression of religious, racial and cultural minorities. CASTE assesses social policies meant to counter exclusion in multiple spheres and intolerance in multi-faith democracies, and studies the philosophical, theological, economic and ethical dilemmas of caste systems.

The inaugural issue of CASTE will be available this summer.

Learn more at brandeis.edu/j-caste .