News & Blog

[12-15-16] We are pleased to post a video of Ceasar McDowell's presentation at this year's Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, "Crisis or Opportunity: A Dialogue on Democracy, Inclusion, and Community." His remarks focused on what he sees as the particular modes of dialogue that can unite diverse segments of society while strengthening democracy in the process. One of his key points was that any dialogue aimed at meaningful social change will of necessity include those at the margins of society since they are the ones who live with the failures of the...

What better time than Thanksgiving to think about how gratitude can impact our lives and the lives of others for the better! This brief essay at the website of the Soka Gakkai International explores why gratitude is a core practice for Center founder Daisaku Ikeda in particular and Nichiren Buddhists in general. There's plenty of good advice here for the non-Buddhists among us as well. Here's an excerpt.

"While the admonition to 'count one’s blessings' may seem trite, in times...

2016 Ikeda Forum

Compared to what he envisions as the work of true democracy, the current presidential contest, said Ceasar McDowell, defined as it is by rancor and a scarcity of content, amounts to little more than theater. McDowell offered this perspective in his role as the featured speaker and dialogue facilitator at the 13th Annual Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, called “Crisis or Opportunity: A Dialogue on Democracy, Inclusion, Community.” Held at the Ikeda Center on October 27, just twelve days before the 2016 elections and near the end of a year marked by bitter and emotional conflict...

In her new essay for the Ikeda Center website, "The Personal Is Social," Natalie Evans observes:

Often, we attribute our powerlessness to other people, institutions, or forces. This is when the “blame game” comes into play. We accuse: “You’re wrong. You’ve created this for me. I’m the victim.” But this is not the complete truth. While we are certainly impacted by social conditions as well as the actions of others, other people don’t have control over our emotions, reactions, and inner states. And so, the most important way that we can create a positive...

2016 Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue

Crisis or Opportunity?
A Dialogue on Democracy, Inclusion, and Community

With Ceasar McDowell

October 27, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Reception at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP for this free event here!

...
Gandhi

If you work in education you might have seen it on a refrigerator magnet or read it on a poster; or maybe you’ve heard it quoted in a talk. Lately you might have encountered it as an Internet meme. It being Gandhi’s claim that “if we are to reach real peace in this world..., we shall have to begin with children.” But what did Gandhi mean by that? What kind of education of youth would lead to peace, in his view? This September 2016 essay by the Center's Mitch Bogen looks at how Gandhi was inspired by Montessori...

A great resource for up-to-the-minute articles and essays relating to peace, learning, and dialogue is the Common Threads blog, hosted by Soka Gakkai International, the parent organization of the Ikeda Center. The Common Threads mission is "to generate interest in topics related to the development of a culture of peace and to stimulate a growing network of global citizens active in the pursuit of peace. It features articles written by a diverse range of contributors in the hope of providing a space for sustained dialogue and for exploring...

Two new episodes of the Ikeda Center podcast are now available for listening. The first episode features peace activist and New York City public school educator Matt Meyer in part two of a discussion of peace as a classroom practice. In it, he says: “If you go in with respect, with the truth, with your own honest self, no matter what you teach, you will most likely get it back from at least the vast majority of students you're teaching. And to me that says a lot, not just about how to become a good teacher, but how to become a good organizer and a good person.” 
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The Ikeda Center promotes the humanistic education philosophy and model called Soka, or value-creating, education. First developed by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in Japan in the first half of the 20th century, Soka education resonates both with Buddhist humanism and humanistic education in the tradition of John Dewey. Soka education is an emerging field of study in the United States and abroad. To serve as an introduction and to further research we created an annotated bibiography of sources exploring multiple dimensions of this important educational movement. You can view the newly updated...

Ann Diller

The year 2016 marks the anniversaries of two publications important to the Ikeda Center. One hundred years ago, in 1916, John Dewey published his landmark book Democracy and Education. And twenty years ago, in June 1996, Center founder Daisaku Ikeda delivered an address at Teachers College, Columbia University, called “Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship.” On June 17 the Center held a panel discussion featuring top education scholars who explored core themes from these works and explained why humanistic education, as it has developed over the last century, is so well...

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