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During March, in 25 locations throughout the country, a total of some 12,000 SGI-USA youth members gathered to hold Youth Peace Expos marking March 16, SGI Kosen-rufu Day.
In his message to the participants, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda said “Kosen-rufu is the ultimate and sacred undertaking of humanity. It involves building a peaceful society, creating a happy life for oneself and working so that all people may achieve happiness.” Utilizing their Buddhist practice, Mr. Ikeda encouraged youth to develop and deepen bonds of friendship and become a source of hope to those in their communities.
In this, the year of the 70th anniversaries of the end of World War II and of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the events expressed the commitment of SGI-USA youth to peace.
The “expos” included faith experiences and talks focusing on various forms of violence, from bullying to the existence of nuclear weapons and the threat of their use. Related exhibitions such as “Victory Over Violence,” created by SGI-USA, “Toward a World Free From Nuclear Weapons: From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace,” created by SGI, and “Everything You Treasure—For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons” (EYT), created by SGI and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), were on display. There were also musical, theatrical and dance performances.
As part of the SGI-USA student-led “Our New Clear Future” campaign, a Nuclear Abolition Signature Pledge that will be submitted to the UN Headquarters in New York was signed by many of the participants.
In Argentina during February and March, at 40 venues across the country, some 25,000 SGI-Argentina youth also gathered and held peace and culture forums marking the 22nd anniversary of President Ikeda’s visit to the country. The forums included choral and dance performances and activities which focused on themes from Mr. Ikeda’s peace proposals.
[Adapted from March 3, March 20 and April 3, 2015, issues of World Tribune, SGI-USA, and March 25, 2015, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-USA and Seikyo Shimbun]
Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education
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Singapore Soka Association—Promoting Harmonious Coexistence in the Lion City
by Dennis Lee, director of Program and Community Relations, SSA
Soka Gakkai in America: Focused on Servant Leadership and Dialogic Teaching
by William Aiken, director of public affairs, SGI-USA