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On the Cover

SGI-USA Atlanta Buddhist Center

Photo by Freese Jonhson.

On April 14, 2013, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the SGI-USA Atlanta Buddhist Center, Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, affirmed the SGI’s mission for peace, saying:

In the city with the brand of human rights and nonviolence, we must remember today the words of your third founding president, Daisaku Ikeda: “Human rights, democracy and peace are a single entity. When one disintegrates, they all disintegrate.”[1]

A year later, on April 3, 2014, Dr. Carter, on behalf of the Chapel, bestowed on Ikeda Sensei the Global Ambassador for Cultural Diversity and Education Award. SGI Vice President Shigeo Hasegawa received the award on Sensei’s behalf.[2]

That weekend, Dr. Carter and Mr. Hasegawa attended the opening ceremony for the Atlanta Buddhist Center, along with over 1,600 members and guests from throughout the South. In his message to the event, Ikeda Sensei encouraged the members to “strive with even stronger faith” and to use the center to deepen “bonds with those in your community and work to contribute to its development.”

Located in Atlantic Station, a 138-acre smart growth project in the heart of Atlanta,
the two-story, 14,000-square-foot Atlanta Buddhist Center serves SGI-USA members throughout three southern states.

In his closing remarks, Vice President Hasegawa cited a passage from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” Mr. Hasegawa shared that once when asked by a student “What is your dream?” Sensei replied:

Dreams are a privilege only people can enjoy. It can be anything. I urge you to have a dream that you yourself create and that is unique to you. As for myself, my dream is to actualize the dream of [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda.[3]

From the June 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. May 3, 2013, World Tribune, p. 2. ↩︎
  2. May 3, 2014, World Tribune, pp. 4–5. ↩︎
  3. Ibid, p. 5. ↩︎

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