Back to listOct 5, 2010

Nobel Peace Laureates Attend SGI-USA Book Donation Ceremony and ICAP Exhibition

101005usa_betty_williams_at_ISA.jpg Betty Williams speaking at International Study Academy

SGI-USA sponsored a book donation ceremony at the International Studies Academy (ISA) in San Francisco, California, on October 5. SGI donated 300 books on peace and human rights to ISA's library, including works by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Dr. Shirin Ebadi and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba, presenting the books, conveyed a message to participants from Mr. Ikeda in which he expressed his gratitude and warmest regards to everyone.

Addressing the ISA students, Mr. Oba commented, "There would be no greater joy than if these books, in some small way, helped you advance your studies and lead lives filled with value."

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Betty Williams and Shirin Ebadi addressed the student body at the ceremony.

Mrs. Williams is the recipient of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to restore peace in Northern Ireland. Dr. Ebadi is a human rights attorney and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

To mark the occasion, Sophenia Maxwell, a member of the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors, awarded Dr. Ebadi, Mrs. Williams and Mr. Ikeda Certificates of Honor in appreciation for supporting the students of ISA.

101005usa_ICAP_women's_exhibit.jpg "The Century of Women" exhibition in San Francisco

On October 4, Mrs. Williams and Dr. Ebadi joined the International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) in opening "The Century of Women" exhibition in San Francisco.

The exhibition highlights women who have taken a leading role in the quest for global security and equal rights, based on the awareness that the continuing empowerment of women throughout the world is a key to solving the world's most pressing issues.

To mark the event, ICAP received two proclamations--from California State Board of Equalization Chairwoman Betty Yee and California State Senator Mark Leno.

After viewing the exhibition, Dr. Ebadi said, "We live in a world that has closed its eyes to the rights of women . . . It is for this reason that I am grateful for this exhibition, which reminds people of the importance of women. No democracy can close its eyes to women. Let's work together, hand in hand, and take action to create a true democracy. "

ICAP collaborates with individuals and organizations that share its mission for peace, employing dialogue and the arts to instill the ideals of humanism and nonviolence in today's youth. To this endeavor, ICAP has sponsored concerts, exhibits and dialogues in support of the United Nations Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace.

[Adapted from articles in the October 22, 2010, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of Kingmond Young]