"Seeds of Hope" Exhibition Shown in Alberta and Ontario, Canada
SGI-Canada members in Edmonton, Alberta, co-organized a showing of the SGI's "Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change" (SOH) exhibition at Grant MacEwan University from January 31 to February 14. The exhibition was linked to the school's Global Awareness Week--an annual event designed to increase public attention about worldwide issues ranging from human rights, gender equality, and poverty eradication to peace and international security.
During Global Awareness Week, the SOH exhibition was set up on the university's city center campus in an atrium where student lockers are situated. As a result, SOH was viewed by a steady stream of students, faculty and staff throughout the week. SOH was shown again from March 1-14 at the Grant MacEwan University South Campus.
On February 11, the SOH exhibition was also shown at a social issues conference titled "Shake the World," held at Huron University College in London, Ontario--an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario. The conference focused on global poverty and invited local high school and university students to come together to learn about and discuss the topic. Michel Chikwanine from the "Me to We" organization was the keynote speaker.
Following the morning keynote address, students viewed the SOH exhibition and participated in break-out sessions that SGI-Canada representatives facilitated. During sessions, participants studied relevant portions of the Earth Charter regarding global poverty and completed a "sustainability check list" from the SOH activity pack. The brainstorming session resulted in a checklist of sustainable actions for home, workplace, and community.
"Seeds of Hope" is a joint initiative of SGI and the Earth Charter International and highlights our interconnectedness with all life and the need to broaden our sphere of compassion and concern. Viewers are encouraged to overcome powerlessness and see how a single individual can initiate positive change.
The exhibition also introduces the positive vision expressed in the Earth Charter, a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It gives examples of eight individuals and groups who have successfully taken action for change, from Africa to the Arctic and Eastern Europe.
The exhibition uses the "Learn, Reflect, Empower" model outlined in SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2002 proposal on education for sustainable development and is a tool for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-14).
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Canada; photos courtesy of Paul Reich]