Ikeda Honored with 2021 AERA Human Rights Award

This April, Center founder Daisaku Ikeda was chosen by the curriculum studies division of the American Educational Research Association to be the 2021 recipient of their Ella Baker/Septima Clark Human Rights Award, recognizing Mr. ikeda's lifelong devotion to and achievements in human rights, peacebuilding, and education. This Instagram post from Soka University of America shares the purposes of the award and words of appreciation from Mr. Ikeda:

According to the AERA, the Ella Baker/Septima Clark "honors the memory of two giants of the Black Freedom Movement, the founding mother and inspiration behind the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committe (Ella Baker), and the education director of the Highlander Folk School (Septima Clark). Each was a teacher, community organizer, and curriculum maker determined to build the bond between education and human freedom."

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Ikeda praised the women for whom the award is named: "Both placed deep and abiding trust in young people; their love for youth knew no bounds. Offering my wholehearted respect to those two remarkable leaders, I wish to humbly accept this honor alomgside the young people who, as successors to the heritage of soka or value-creating education, are putting ideals into practice in the United States, Japan and throughout the world."

Reporting on the award, the World Tribune newspaper quotes award committee chair Jason Goulah on how Ikeda continues the legacy of Baker and Clark. “Emphasizing the kind of empowerment and awareness raising that can restore dignity to all people and build a pluralist and inclusive society," said Goulah, "all of Mr. Ikeda’s work...can be read as a curriculum for human rights and human rights education.”

For more on the award, please visit the World Tribune website.

[Posted by M. Bogen, May 2021]


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