Standing up for “Everything You Treasure”

High school senior brings disarmament awareness to her school.

Peace work- Dwight-Englewood Upper School senior Erika Ogino and Principal Joseph Algrant at the opening of "Everything You Treasure," Englewood, N.J., April 24. Photo: Kevin Lyden

ENGLEWOOD, N.J., April 24—After volunteering with a nuclear abolition NGO and reading SGI President Ikeda’s annual peace proposal to the United Nations, high school senior Erika Ogino wanted to bring her disarmament awareness to school.

Last summer, she approached her student activities coordinator to host such an event. After months of preparation with the support of local SGI members, faculty and other community members of DwightEnglewood School, the exhibition “Everything You Treasure—For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons” debuted at DwightEnglewood’s Upper School (grades 9–12) from April 24–29 at the new Hajjar STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Center.

“As the creator of nuclear weapons, we humans are responsible for their abolition.” 

Keynote guests included Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee; and Hiro Sakurai, director of the SGI UN Liaison Office in New York.

“Everything You Treasure” was created by the SGI in partnership with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and made its first appearance in Hiroshima in August 2012 at the 20th World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

The Upper School principal, Joseph Algrant, welcomed the crowd at the opening ceremony and said Dwight-Englewood was grateful to host the exhibition because it engages the viewers to reflect on how the threat of nuclear weapons affects all different aspects of our lives and the world, while empowering ordinary citizens to take an active role in their own commitment to peace.

Ms. Ogino, the student organizer, said in her speech: “Nuclear weapons do not have a place in this world. If they are ever used again, it is unlikely that anyone or any community will go unaffected. The struggles, accomplisments and joys of millions will become meaningless as our history and our future potential is destroyed. Nuclear weapons threaten everything that we treasure. As the creator of nuclear weapons, we humans are responsible for their abolition.”

Carolyn Somerville and Maya Gunaseharan contributed to the article.