News & Blog

Anna Kowanko and Chloe McElligott

The fourth Dialogue Nights event of 2019 was devoted to exploring the meaning of friendship and its power to help us meet and overcome life’s challenges—small and large and in between. Called “Friendship: An Antidote to Despair?”, the August 16th event attracted nearly fifty Boston-area university students and young professionals who were eager to talk sincerely and openly about the role of friendship in their lives. The core question was this: Is genuine friendship really powerful enough to transform our feelings of despair about the world?

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As part of its Education Fellows program, the Ikeda Center convenes a gathering in Cambridge halfway through each two-year cycle of the program. The current fellows, each of whom is doing doctoral work relating to some aspect of Soka, or value creating, education, are able to engage in dialogue with the program’s Advisory Council members about their progress on their respective research and dissertation activities. This year’s gathering took place on July 26th, 2019.

All three current Fellows attended. Nozomi Inukai is a doctoral candidate in the College of Education at DePaul...

Elora Chowdhury

Over the last several years it has become apparent that nearly every topic or project the Ikeda Center turns its attention to requires a close consideration of the place of dignity within it. In other words, while dignity is a worthy topic in and of itself, digging into the particular meaning of dignity for scholars working in the various fields that comprise the movement toward peace and justice can enrich everyone’s appreciation for both the complexity of dignity in human affairs and the power of dignity as a driver of creative social change.

Working from this premise, the Center’...

The Ikeda Center hosted its first ever Movie Nights event on Friday, June 21. In her welcoming remarks, Anri Tanabe explained that Movie Nights extends the open-hearted spirit of Dialogue Nights, which is for university students and young professionals, to intergenerational gatherings of people. As with Dialogue Nights, the goal of Movie Nights is to promote dialogue on matters of immediate, contemporary interest. The first Movie Nights feature was State of Pride, a new documentary directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman that features the YouTube star Raymond Braun traveling...

Winston Langley

Winston E. Langley is Emeritus Professor of Political Science & International Relations, and Senior Fellow at the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts Boston, where he served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2017. Dr. Langley's scholarly interests include human rights, alternative models of world order, religion, and politics. His publications include Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Voice of Poetry and the Struggle for Human Wholeness and the Encyclopedia of Human Rights Issues Since 1945. A longtime friend of...

On Friday, May 31, fifty-eight college students and young professionals joined us for Dialogue Nights to discuss authenticity and what it means to live true to ourselves. In small groups, participants talked about what it means to be authentic and inauthentic, and the difference between being authentic and being original. Participants also shared when they feel most authentic. Some examples: "I feel most authentic when I'm doing a piano-singing duet with my mom." "I feel most authentic when I'm writing." "I feel most authentic when I'm contemplating life choices at 3:...

seminar photo

Above all, dialogue is a process. So is learning to value dialogue and successfully facilitate it in classrooms. These were two of the guiding themes for our April 19, 2019, Ikeda Center seminar featuring discussion among four seasoned education professors. On hand to discuss and explore their experiences with dialogue in education settings were: Deborah Donahue-Keegan of Tufts University; Steve Cohen of Tufts University; Stephen Gould of Lesley University; and Jason Goulah of DePaul University.

Read an in-...

Our newest interview, conducted March 2019, features Catia Confortini, Associate Professor of Peace and Justice Studies at Wellesley College. In this in-depth conversation, Dr. Confortini explores the interrelationships among peace, justice, and feminism, also touching on topics such as empathy, intelligent compassion, and the power of alternative thinking to point us toward a world where women and peace alike are truly valued. Throughout, Dr. Confortini talks about and celebrates the people and the books that have inspired her along the way.

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March 2019 Dialogue Nights

The March 29th Dialogue Nights event at the Ikeda Center was the most well attended one yet, with more than 80 Boston-area university students and young professionals showing up to discuss “The Loneliness Epidemic.” The turnout showed that loneliness is an urgent issue for young people today, and that they are hungry for connection and willing to open themselves up to others to make that happen.

Go here for a story on the event!

On Wednesday, March 20, George Mason University Press hosted an author event celebrating Peacebuilding Through Dialogue, which it recently published in collaboration with the Ikeda Center. On hand to speak were book editor Peter Stearns and chapter contributor Susan Allen. Dr. Stearns is University Professor at Mason, and Dr. Allen is Associate Professor at Mason's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) and director of its Center for Peacemaking Practice. Held at Mason's Fenwick Library, the...

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