SGI Mourns Loss of American Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks
On behalf of SGI members in 190 countries, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent his condolences to the family of Rosa Parks, American civil rights heroine, who died October 24 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Mrs. Parks was 92. In his message, Mr. Ikeda expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the Parks family and his deepest respect for her lifetime efforts to help build a just and equitable society through an intrepid struggle against discrimination and efforts to foster youth. Her courageous act of civil disobedience in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, influenced civil rights leaders, beginning with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and sparked the modern civil rights movement. Mrs. Parks and Mr. Ikeda met in 1993 and 1994. In 1994, Mrs. Parks received an honorary doctorate from Soka University. Among her many honors, in 1996, Mrs. Parks received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 1999 she received the Congressional Gold Medal.