SGI-USA Youth in New York, New York, Hold Festival Commemorating 25th Anniversary of SGI President's Poem to America's Youth; New York State Awards Honorary Citizenships to SGI President and Mrs. Ikeda
On July 16, the SGI-USA youth of Northeast Zone sponsored a music festival in New York City, New York, USA, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's poem "To My Beloved Young American Friends--Youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth," written in New York on June 20, 1981. Some 4,000 members from nine states converged at the Lincoln Center across from New York City's Broadway. Since March of this year, 600 youth have been rehearsing and preparing for the event. Excerpts from "To My Beloved Young American Friends," were interspersed with rap, African, Latin and Asian dances, choruses, gymnastic feats, African drumming and hip-hop numbers. In the finale, performers sang "It All Begins With Me," an original song written for the festival.
Following the show, the state assembly of New York, USA, presented honorary citizenships to Mr. Ikeda and Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda in recognition of their long-standing achievements as emissaries of peace through dialogue and cultural exchange. The commendation also celebrates the 25th anniversary of President Ikeda's poem "To My Beloved Young American Friends," and the 10th year since his most recent visit to the state in June 1996. This latest accolade is the 450th honorary citizenship awarded to Mr. Ikeda in recognition of the SGI's global movement for peace, culture, and education grounded in the philosophy of Buddhist humanism.