Honored to Return to Grinnell

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I was fulfilling a long held dream when I first went to Grinnell College in 1990 as a student. This upcoming visit however I am honored to be making!

I received an invitation in June pretty soon after my ordeal in Qatar ended to visit the College. The ball got rolling soon after, and I am honored to say that I have been invited as a speaker at the Rosenfield Progam, to begin with! (Grinnell will be making the official announcement about this around April 3. I’ll be sure to update this post with that announcement as well.)

Last summer, within a little over a month of arriving in Nepal, I had run a major fundraising campaign and raised over 30 thousand dollars to help Raithane School in Thangpalkot. Following that, I had been implementing education-related projects at Thangpalkot and elsewhere in an effort to provide children attending government schools a high quality education, something most children from low socioeconomic background in Nepal don’t get.

In addition to that, I had been on a mission to contribute to the education of children from poor and marginalized communities in general, through sponsorship programs etc. I had also been writing about equality, social justice etc. Then the second offer to visit the school at commencement came along in December 2013 (see image below)!

Gurung invitation - Honorary degree
Invitation to receive an Honorary Degree. Click on the image for the original. (Image reproduced with permission.)

This one was from the Chair of Faculty stating how I had been selected by the Honorary Degree Committee to receive Honorary Doctor of Science degree at commencement as

“[…] a testament to your passion and dedication to education, and to creating accessible, free education and community development opportunities to those who may not otherwise have these opportunities. Your personal and professional dedication to social justice provides an excellent model for our graduates.”

Obviously, I accepted this honor as well! (Again, Grinnell will be making a press release about this around March 31. I’ll be sure to update this post with that announcement as well.)

In addition to the two engagements already mentioned, at Grinnell I have two others.

  1. April 22 round-table talk and Q&A about the work I am doing with Community Members Interested (COMMITTED): COMMITTED to Education.
  2. The afternoon of April 23 Rosenfield Program talk: Human Rights and Education of Marginalized People of Nepal. (To get an idea of what I will be talking about specifically, click here.)
  3. April 24 a round-table talk and Q&A about International Teaching Career.
  4. Commencement on May 19, 2014: Honorary Doctor of Science degree conferred.

So, one year my story is featured in the Commencement Speaker’s speech at Grinnell, and the next, I get to feature my own self!

Apart from my speaking engagements at Grinnell, I have already arranged to speak at the United World College of the American West (UWC-USA) in New Mexico.

The type of visa, approved last Monday and receiving tomorrow, allows me to speak at, and receive honorarium for, five non-profit organizations in a period of six month. Since I don’t have any plans to re-visit the country any time soon after this trip, I am looking to arrange 3 additional talks this time alone. I welcome any other offers from similar not-for-profit organizations.

Itinerary

I shall be arriving at UWC-USA on the 16th and leaving on the 20th for Grinnell College. I’ll be busy at Grinnell until the 25th. The next time I have something at the college is on May 19, the commencement.

So, between the 25th of April to about the 17th of May, I am free to travel and possibly speak at other venues. Grinnell College will be my base, and any speaking engagement anywhere else will have to be accompanied by coverage of flight/travel costs, and food and accommodation as well as an honorarium. The talk would obviously be the same as the one I am giving at the Rosenfield Program.

Following commencement at Grinnell, I shall be flying to Washington DC on the 20th of May and leaving DC on the 30th, as it stands now. If you are in DC and would like to arrange for me to speak at your institution, we could arrange it for one of those ten days, if you prefer.

Summary of my itinerary and engagements as it stands now:

Date Comment/Activity/Engagement etc.
 April 16 Arrive in UWC-USA, New Mexico.
 April 17-19 At UWC-USA, New Mexico with at least one speaking engagement (on April 18 at Global Issues).
 April 20 Depart UWC-USA for and arrive in Grinnell College late evening.
 April 21-25 At Grinnell College with three speaking engagements.
 April 26-May 17 Free to travel and make visits or to travel for other speaking engagements using Grinnell College as my base.
 May 17-19 At Grinnell College attending commencement to receive Honorary Doctor of Science degree
 May 20 Depart Grinnell College for and arrive in Washington DC late afternoon.
 May 21-30 In Washington DC, also free for speaking engagements.
 May 30 Depart Washington DC for Nepal.

If interested, please get in touch. You can leave a comment below or email me at dorje[at]dorjegurung[dot]com or at dorje[dot]gurung[at]gmail[dot]com.

 

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March 20, 2014 Update

I have a visa that’s good for multiple entries until 2019. It also allows me to engage in up to 5 speaking tours within a six month period. If anyone wishing to have me come over for a talk aren’t able to arrange it this time, I can travel at a another time in the future.

 

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April 19, 2014 Update

I have moved my departure date from May 30 to June 6 to accommodate, amongst other things, a possible visit to New York City.

Summary of my revised itinerary and engagements as it stands now:

Date Comment/Activity/Engagement etc.
 April 16 Arrive in UWC-USA, New Mexico.
 April 17-19 At UWC-USA, New Mexico with at least one speaking engagement (on April 18 at Global Issues).
 April 20 Depart UWC-USA for and arrive in Grinnell College late evening.
 April 21-25 At Grinnell College with three speaking engagements.
 April 26-May 17 Free to travel and make visits or to travel for other speaking engagements using Grinnell College as my base.
 May 17-19 At Grinnell College attending commencement to receive Honorary Doctor of Science degree
 May 20 Depart Grinnell College for and arrive in Washington DC late afternoon.
 May 21-June 6 In Washington DC.Saturday, May 24: Talk program at Arlington Library 2:00-4:00 pm.Thursday, June 1: Talk program in New York City. Details to follow.
 June 6 Depart Washington DC for Nepal.

If interested, please get in touch. You can leave a comment below or email me at dorje[at]dorjegurung[dot]com or at dorje[dot]gurung[at]gmail[dot]com.

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April 19, 2014 Update

Flyer Grinnell produced advertising my engagements:

Dorje Gurung Alum in Residence - flyer 75px

 

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