Campus News

03.01.2018

Open House with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

Open House with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury | “Why the Culture of Peace is so Essential to Humanity?” | January 23, 2018

Aliso Viejo, CA – Soka community members gathered for on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the annual Open House event with Distinguished Visiting Scholar Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, joined by Mrs. Chowdhury, to discuss “Why the Culture of Peace is So Essential to Humanity?”  Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, this event, along with the Learning Cluster he has taught for 9 years, is a way for Ambassador Chowdhury to pay special tribute to Soka University and its founder, Daisaku Ikeda, engaging students and spreading the message of transformational opportunities of the Culture of Peace amongst the SUA students.   

Dr. Michael Weiner, Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of East Asian History and International Studies, introduced Ambassador Chowdhury.  Thanking the community for a warm welcome, Ambassador gave a brief history on the development of The Culture of Peace concept, explaining its international start at the level of UNESCO and further development through his pioneering, dedicated efforts with the United Nations General Assembly in 1999.  He emphasized that one can reach their goals through non-violent, peaceful means, which is very much in line with the objective of preparing for global citizenship as incorporated in the SUA mission statement.

 Dr. Weiner

Chowdhury articulated why the Culture of Peace is essential to humanity through what he terms as “the five I’s”.  First, the culture of peace supports Individual transformation when you make peace and non-violence a part of your daily existence.   It also focuses on Interconnectedness.  We are all interconnected and interdependent in so many ways to each other as human beings, through areas of sustainable development, human rights, education, equality, empowerment, understanding, tolerance and solidarity.  Third, the culture of peace is Intergenerational, spanning across all ages, including even the very young ones.  Chowdhury brought to attention the growing focus of the international community on the need for early childhood development to ensure the culture of peace becomes sustainable. Fourth, the culture of peace is International as it transcends boundaries, reaches out to everyone without exclusion and can be promoted by all, individually and collectively. Lastly, the culture of peace is Inspirational as it aims at self-transformation of every human being to make our planet a better place to live for all. The culture of peace is inspirational because it advances global citizenship and promotes human security.

Chowdhury also outlined the four biggest obstacles to the culture of peace, which are ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and inaction.  Students and guests from the community enjoyed a question and answer session, sharing more thoughts on the culture of peace.  Ambassador Chowdhury concluded by encouraging the audience to continue to live with empathy and compassion and strive towards advancing the culture of peace - always. A warm reception followed the open house lecture with guests enjoying more conversation and light refreshments. 

Participants

Photos courtesy of Soka University photographers