Peace and Disarmament
David Krieger Speaks at Claremont McKenna College Student Buddhist Club
On March 30, David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a dialogue partner of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, spoke at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, USA, as part of a "Lunch and Lecture Series" sponsored by the school's 7Cs Buddhist Club. The club is supported by SGI-USA youth members and open to all students. The "7Cs" represent conscience, commitment, community, compassion, courage, creativity and conviction.
An audience of 70 attended the event held at the school's Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, where Dr. Krieger spoke about "Leadership for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons." Dr. Krieger described his life-changing visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at age 21, where he imagined the many horrific deaths of ordinary people resulting from the atomic bombings of the cities and the agony of those who survived the blasts and fires only to suffer the ensuing radiation poisoning.
Dr. Krieger went on to found the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982 and has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia on issues of peace, security, international law and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
When asked about his vision for the future, Dr. Krieger focused on three of the "7Cs" from the club's name: Compassion: to demonstrate love and empathy for other people and places; Courage: to speak out for what one believes is right; and Commitment: to target areas where one can take action with perseverance.
Dr. Krieger concluded by saying that young people have the power to change laws from the bottom up. He cited the example of Norway's state pension fund, among the world's biggest investors, which ceased investing in weapons manufacturers and companies that violate international humanitarian law, in response to the voices of its citizens.
Dr. Krieger then read one of his poems, underscoring that in a culture of war, art is a means to shift to a culture of peace.
As a follow-up to the event, in April, Claremont College's 7Cs Buddhist Club joined nearby Pomona College's Students of Color Alliance to sponsor the opening of the exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" at Pomona's Smith Campus Center.
[Adapted from an article in the April 29, 2011 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photo courtesy of Lydia Aguiar]