Back to listApr 25, 2009

SGI-USA Virginia Region Men Hold Leadership Conference


On April 25, 2009, the Virginia Region of SGI-USA's Mid-Atlantic Zone held a men's leadership conference at the Northern Virginia Community Center in Springfield, Virginia, USA. Twenty-one men attended, including a number of recently appointed leaders. Volunteer leadership positions within the SGI emphasize personal responsibility and self-development, coupled with efforts to enable fellow members to overcome personal difficulties and achieve victories in their daily lives through their practice of Nichiren Buddhism.

Some of the participants drove six hours to attend the day's events, which included an outdoor lunch, study presentations, group discussions and a question and answer session. Since the worldwide economic crisis, many SGI-USA men have lost their livelihoods and are facing severe financial difficulties. In response to this, at the beginning of 2009, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda presented SGI-USA men with guidelines to encourage them as they apply their Buddhist practice and win over their many hardships. The conference included a presentation on these guidelines.

Break out groups discussed what is meant by the unity of mentor and disciple, what efforts are needed to develop capable youth for the future, and how to help others deepen their understanding of Nichiren Buddhism. Mid-Atlantic Zone Men's leaders Steve Harvey and John Marchant led a question and answer session.

Following the conference, Ed Sepulveda, a newly appointed chapter men's leader, said he was very encouraged. In reference to the SGI's grassroots efforts to create lasting peace he said, "When we look back in ten years, we will remember the great causes we made this weekend."

[Adapted from an article in the June 5, 2009 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of Wing Lee]