SGI-USA Members in New York Celebrate Springtime with General Meeting
On April 5, 2008, some 1,500 SGI-USA New York Zone members gathered for a general meeting at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater in New York City. New York Zone has recently expanded its organization from four to six regions, following growth in its membership. Zone Leader Ethan Gelbaum shared his resolve to make a new departure for advancing peace and happiness in New York City's five boroughs and Long Island. Following the meeting, members and guests were treated to celebratory performances that included a chorus, teenage rappers and African dances. SGI-USA Arts Division members and Grammy award-winning musicians Duncan Sheik, Suzanne Vega and renowned jazz bassist Buster Williams also performed.
It was announced that New York State declared April 5 as "Daisaku Ikeda Day," in recognition of Mr. Ikeda's dedicated efforts to resolve global issues through dialogue and action as well as his outstanding leadership to build peace by fostering altruistic, dedicated youth. David Johnson, senior advisor to New York Governor David Paterson, presented a certificate to SGI-USA representatives and stated, "Everyone in this auditorium must understand that the dream of peace is our life mission."
[Adapted from articles in the April 18, 2008 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan, and the World Tribune, SGI-USA]