Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for July 31, 2020
Seikyo Shimbun – Highlights
PORTUGAL: In June and July, the Women’s Division and Young Women’s Division of SGI-Portugal held online meetings across the country where members shared faith experiences.
AUSTRIA: On July 5, SGI-Austria held a virtual national leaders meeting where faith experiences were shared.
INDIA: On July 5, Bharat Soka Gakkai’s Student Division held virtual general meetings across the country to commemorate the founding of the student division (June 30).
INDONESIA: On July 5, Soka Gakkai Indonesia held an online meeting in commemoration of the Day of Mentor and Disciple on July 3 and the founding of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Divisions (on July 11 and July 19 respectively).
SINGAPORE, USA and NEW ZEALAND: On July 11, more than 450 Singapore Soka Association members joined an online meeting in commemoration of the founding of the Young Men’s Division. On July 18, the Young Women’s Division of the SGI-USA in Chicago also held an online commemorative meeting. On July 19, SGI-New Zealand hosted virtual youth general meetings in Auckland and Wellington.
OCEANIA: On July 12, Youth Division members in Oceania held a virtual meeting in commemoration of the founding of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Divisions. Participants joined the meeting from nine countries and territories, including Tahiti, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.
Taoyuan, TAIWAN: On July 12, Taiwan Soka Association hosted a leaders’ meeting at its Taoyuan Culture Center attended by 400 participants. Various measures were taken to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, such as checking participants’ temperature upon entry, wearing masks and observing social distancing.
JAPAN: On July 16, Soka Gakkai youth representatives held their ninth teleconference with Professor Takeo Fujiwara of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Associate Professor Yugo Shobugawa of Niigata University and the chairs of the Soka Youth Physicians Conference and the Soka Women Physicians Conference. They discussed the importance of checking new information concerning COVID-19 and respecting and understanding the diverse risks that different individuals may face.
ONLINE: On July 16, the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue held its third virtual dialogue event, "The Poetic Spirit: Our Power to Reconnect a Divided World," with 250 participants from 19 countries. The event centered around a panel discussion between Dr. Sarah Wider, Professor of English at Colgate University, and Ikeda Center Youth Committee members.
JAPAN: On July 19, the Young Women’s Division Fuji Chorus released a video of their online performance of “The Vow of Ikeda Kayo-kai.”
Aliso Viejo, USA: On July 20, Seikyo Shimbun announced the appointment of Edward M. Feasel, PhD, as the new president of Soka University of America. The SUA Board of Trustees named former president Daniel Y. Habuki as President Emeritus.
Hiroshima, JAPAN: On July 21, Seikyo Shimbun announced that Hiroshima Soka Gakkai’s English language website “Hiroshima Peace Voice” has been revamped. The website introduces Soka Gakkai’s peace activities.
UK: On July 28, SGI-UK Women’s Leader Justine Marchant gave an interview in Seikyo Shimbun about the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SGI-UK Youth Division has taken on the “1- 2- 3 BE THE LIGHT!” campaign where members chant for one hour, study The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin and SGI President Ikeda’s guidance for 20 minutes and encourage three friends every day. In April and May, weekly meetings were held online throughout the country. The SGI-UK Taplow Court Grand Culture Center cafeteria staff are providing 100 meals a day to vulnerable and elderly people through a local foodbank. SGI-UK members who are health workers and caregivers are tackling many challenges with strong faith.
ONLINE: On July 28, Seikyo Shimbun announced that a new video “Daisaku Ikeda: Life and Philosophy—The Power of Encouragement” was uploaded onto the Daisaku Ikeda website. The video is available in English with subtitles in 11 languages.
Tohoku, JAPAN: On July 28, in response to torrential rainfall and widespread flooding in Tohoku, Soka Gakkai set up local emergency centers in the region. Local leaders are supporting and encouraging those affected.
Media – News watch
My LA news (USA): Soka University of America Names Leader to Replace Retiring Founding President (July 20, 2020)
This article announces the change in leadership at Soka University of America and includes an excerpt from a statement by the new president Edward M. Feasel.
“Soka University of America’s executive vice president and chief operating officer was chosen to replace the founding president, who is retiring after 27 years of leading the school. Edward Feasel, who has been with SUA since 1998, was instrumental during the initial phases of development of the university, serving as one of the founding faculty of the undergraduate program. He was named Dean of Students in 2001, Dean of Faculty in 2005, and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2015. Feasel has also continued to maintain his responsibilities as an economics professor and has published two books in recent years …. Feasel received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University and earned his doctorate in the field from UC Berkeley. … ‘I am very honored to become president of SUA and I want to thank the Board of Trustees for showing their trust in me through their selection,’ Feasel said in a statement. ‘I am especially grateful to our university founder, Daisaku Ikeda, for establishing SUA as a citadel of education for global citizenship. It was my distinct pleasure to serve in Danny Habuki’s administration for over 20 years and I thank and congratulate him on all of his accomplishments during his incredible tenure as SUA president.’ The Board of Trustees named Habuki as president emeritus of SUA in appreciation for his years of service to the private, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school.” Read more
Tricycle (USA): Buddhists and Racial Justice: A History (Ann Gleig, Jul 24, 2020)
This article focuses on the understanding of racial justice among American convert Buddhists and includes a link to a statement by SGI-USA.
“Holding signs such as ‘The Buddha Opposed Racism,’ and ‘Buddhists for Black Lives Matter,’ monastic and lay American Buddhists of all lineages have joined the protests. Organizations such as the Buddhist Churches of America, the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, and Soka Gakkai International-USA have released public statements vowing to transform ‘deep-rooted,’ and ‘structural’ racism in the US. … Many American Buddhists see overcoming racism as a deep expression of their practice. All understand racism as a form of individual and collective dukkha. This is absolutely central to PoC Buddhist racial justice work. In the Statement on Racism from Buddhist Teachers and Leaders in the United States, presented at the First White House Buddhist Leadership Conference in 2015, a group of Buddhist teachers wrote, ‘The historic and continued suffering of people of color in this country—of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and others—is our collective suffering.’ … One of the defining characteristics of engaged Buddhism is its shift in focus from individual suffering and individual liberation to structural forms of suffering and collective liberation. Another is an embrace of the mundane everyday world as a site of awakening and an investigation of how internal Buddhist principles, poisons, and practices manifest on an external and institutional level. ... By centering marginalized and vulnerable Black and brown bodies as living vehicles of the dharma, American Buddhists of Color are birthing new expressions of the tradition— ‘a dharma of justice, equity, inclusion and freedom’—and bringing engaged Buddhist sensibilities and aspirations from the margins to the center.” Read more
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