The Dalai Lama has been honored in Ohio for promoting peace and freedom, and returned the accompanying cash award to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center's education efforts.
The center presented the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader with its "international freedom conductor award" at a packed luncheon Wednesday at Cincinnati's convention center. The center says he wanted the $25,000 prize to support the downtown museum.
He said he was touched after seeing the center's exhibits on slavery and human exploitation around the world.
He will receive an honorary doctorate and lecture students at Miami University on Thursday.
Previous award winners include civil rights hero Rosa Parks and South Africa religious leader Desmond Tutu. Tutu and the Dalai Lama also have won Nobel Peace Prizes.