Naropa President Charles Lief on DACA

Naropa University
Photo by Marc Piscotty

A Message to the Naropa University Community from Naropa President, Charles Lief:

Diversity, Inclusion, and Compassion have been embedded in the curriculum and core values of Naropa University since our founding. More than an academic value or abstraction, we commit to supporting and protecting staff, students, faculty, and guests of Naropa, especially those who are most likely to be targeted in the name of public policy. This includes those who are part of the 800,000 plus members of the DACA community, some of whom are part of the Naropa family.

This commitment is especially important to Naropa, as we were founded by Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, an accomplished teacher and spiritual leader who himself was forced from his homeland as a result of political persecution, and who was offered a home, first in India, then in the United Kingdom and finally in the United States. The history of contemplative education and the mindfulness movement would be written very differently had Trungpa Rinpoche not been offered sanctuary. It is our duty and our privilege to offer support to new generations of people experiencing their own persecution.

In light of the attempts by the President of the United States and his administration to exclude immigrants and refugees, including members of the Muslim community and undocumented students, we believe it is necessary and timely to denounce those actions and to clearly state principles and practices that reinforce our commitment and values. In doing so we join other Universities, churches and municipalities across the United States in solidarity. These practices are drawn from the wisdom, compassion and active engagement of our own Naropa Community, as well as the pioneering work of sister institutions to whom we express gratitude.

Please join with me, in community, to advocate for compassionate and wise public policy and especially to care for one another.

Warm Wishes,


Charles G. Lief



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