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America Will Be! cover

America Will Be! Conversations on Hope, Freedom, and Democracy, by Vincent Harding and Daisaku Ikeda, has won the Society of Professors of Education (SPE) book award for 2014. Founded in 1902, the Society’s primary goal is to provide a forum for consideration of major issues, tasks, problems and challenges confronting professional educators. SPE is an interdisciplinary organization. Members include both theoreticians and practitioners in education. The second chairman of SPE was John Dewey of the University of Chicago,...

Oscar Arias

Excerpted here are remarks delivered by Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias at the Soka University of Japan Commencement Ceremony, March 20, 2014.

Esteemed faculty, graduates, and families:

Friendship is one of the most beautiful and mysterious secrets in life. It takes people as different as can be, and ties them together with an unbreakable bond. It can unite us across divisions of age, gender, race, nationality and class...

Ikeda Center

This piece, posted in March 2014, addresses questions that might occur to thoughtful readers of our core convictions. As in any process of codification, defining our convictions required that we streamline the ideas most important to us. All along, though, our website and other materials have contained many perspectives and complexities, not included in our original formulation, that actually strengthen our convictions as ethical and intellectual tools for global human progress in a world marked by irresolution, imbalances of power, and a bounty of beliefs. The layers and complexities...

Joy Harjo

This month (March '14) we added several new poems to our Poetry Section, which features works that resonate with multiple dimensions of our work. The new poems are: Joy Harjo's "Perhaps the World Ends Here," Sonia Sanchez's "Morning Song and Evening Walk" (for Martin Luther King, Jr), Mary Oliver's "Sleeping in the Forest" and "Wild Geese," Wendell Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things," William E. Stafford's "At the Un-national Monument," and Rabindranath Tagore's "Where the Mind is Without Fear." (Shown here: Joy Harjo)

Visit the poetry...

Wider event

Open. Humble. Welcoming of all experience. These are attributes of the “kitchen table” that forms the central image of the Joy Harjo poem featured by Sarah Wider during her February 22 talk at the Ikeda Center. These attributes describe Dr. Wider, too. Speaking on the theme, “The Poetic Heart of Human Possibility,” the Colgate University professor of American literature and women’s studies structured her presentation to include significant contributions from attendees on the many meanings of the poetic heart and spirit in their own lives.

The afternoon’s theme forms...

America Will Be! co-author Vincent Harding is speaking at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on February 26. If you are in the area, check it out! As many of you know, Dr. Harding is a powerful speaker.

The Mennonites are one of the oldest American Christian "peace churches." And it was an encounter with the Mennonites in Chicago in the late 1950s that helped inspire Dr. Harding to pursue nonviolent social change as an active participant in the civil rights movement. In America Will Be!, Harding explains that...

Ikeda Center Plaque

In September 2013, we created a series of video clips with scholars offering reflections on some of our core convictions. As of January 29, 2014, this feature includes thoughts from Jason Goulah of DePaul University, Bill Schubert of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ved Nanda of the University of Denver, Winston Langley of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Gonzalo Obelleiro of Teachers College, Columbia University.
View clips»

In a 1996 interview with the Center, historian Vincent Harding said: "it's very important to recognize that King was not operating in a vacuum, that he was operating in a situation of ferment. In Montgomery, leadership was being taken by women — ordinary, marvelous African-American women. It was those women who were prepared to respond to Rosa Parks’ personal initiative. When she refused to move to the rear of the bus, women who had been involved in various kinds of political activism were ready. One of those women ran off 35,000 copies of a stencil by herself the night after Mrs. Parks’...

Daisaku Ikeda

In his 20th Anniversary message to the Center, Daisaku Ikeda said: "Whatever country we hail from or interests we represent, in the end we are all human. We are comrades together confronting the universal human experiences of birth, aging, sickness and death. Our lives are like precious gems bearing within them an indomitable force for good. We were all born of mothers whose deepest desire is for peace. When we unclench hearts closed like fists, and listen and speak with honesty and integrity, we can discover the shared resonance of our souls. When we open ourselves to learn from our...

This section presents achievements and milestones from our first 20 years. Broken into four-year periods, the five detailed timelines provide not just a listing of our events but also the names of all the great scholars and visionaries who have contributed to our seminars, conferences, and publications. Highlights include: a series of seminars in the mid-90s on the nature and purpose of dialogue; an extended period of consultation on the development of the Earth Charter; events addressing economic justice, women's leadership, and the environment; the launching of the annual Ikeda Forum,...

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