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Miami Dade College Studies SGI President’s Peace Proposal

SGI-USA youth present SGI President Ikeda’s peace proposal at Miami Dade College, Jan. 28. Photo by VICTOR GOLDEN.

by Ellen Soto
Special to the Tribune

MIAMI, Jan. 28—On the heels of the SGI’s 45th anniversary, SGI-USA youth representatives Jenice Maza, Luis Malespin and Pedro “Pepe” Barilari presented SGI President Ikeda’s 2019 Peace Proposal at Miami Dade College.

Hosted by Michael Lenaghan, Endowed Chair of Excellence Professor, and Stephen Nesvacil, Coordinator of The Earth Ethics Institute, the program gathered over 125 students and faculty from multiple disciplines. Professor Lenaghan, a longtime friend of the SGI-USA, continues introducing President Ikeda’s writings and published dialogues into his coursework.

On this occasion, each student was provided a copy of last year’s peace proposal to delve into its theme, “Toward a New Era of Peace and Disarmament: A People-Centered Approach.” 

The three SGI-USA youth leaders linked their personal experiences to the proposal’s key points, tying everything back to the empowerment of the individual. Each shared how learning from President Ikeda as their mentor enabled them to triumph over adversity.

Fundamental to the discussion was the importance of internal transformation and connecting with others as the means to combat what President Ikeda refers to as “the pathology of peacelessness.” Following the presentations, students gathered in small discussion groups to reflect on these points. 

“In the past, I couldn’t even begin to consider how one person, just as myself, who felt powerless to change his own life, could possibly change the world,” said presenter Luis Malespin. “What I’ve learned from my mentor is that to wake up each day knowing you are capable of winning over your own limitations, and supporting other youth to do the same, is the most fulfilling way to live.”

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