From a Culture of War to a Culture of Peace
During years of human rights activism and outspoken opposition to abuses of human dignity, Irving Sarnoff saw repeatedly how solutions and a pattern for a world at peace were already provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other fundamental documents of the United Nations. The task, he realized, lay in getting the declaration widely known, understood and applied.
Mr. Sarnoff has consistently worked to put this concept into action. He has served as founder and director of the Southern California Alliance for Survival, the Southern California Peace Action Council, the Mississippi Assistance Project and the Interfaith Council for the United Nations.
Mr. Sarnoff stood as a delegate to the World Assembly of Religious Peaceworkers in Tokyo and the World Assembly for Peace in Prague. He acted as executive producer for a series of events in support of the United Nations, culminating in 1982 in Peace Sunday at the Rose Bowl, attended by 100,000 people.
In 1985, Mr. Sarnoff founded the Friends of the United Nations, whose purpose is to promote the spirit and vision of the U.N. Charter and to encourage participation from all sectors of society in the United Nations’ goal of a peaceful, flourishing planet.
This organization works with the United Nations and U.N. nongovernmental organizations, sponsoring briefings throughout the United States on the work of the United Nations. Through coalitions created with artists and the entertainment industry, the advertising industry, educational workers and legislators, Friends of the United Nations helps to keep people informed of U.N. activities, goals and accomplishments.
Building Peace In Divided Cities
Dr. Scott Bollens is a professor in the department of Urban and Region Planning in the School of Social Ecology at the University of Calfiornia, Irvine. Professor Bollens was also recently appointed the Drew, Chase, and Erin Warmington Chair in the Social Ecology of Peace and International Cooperation. He has conducted a thorough examination of urban planning techniques and tactics in a number of conflict ridden cities. Since 1994, he’s interviewed more than 120 urban professionals in Jerusalem, Belfast, Johannesburg, Nicosia and Sarajevo about the role of city building in the midst of nationalistic ethnic conflict. In April 2002, Bollens presented his findings in a paper titled “Practical Strategies of Urban Peace-Building” at a seminar in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The seminar brought together experts on urban cooperation in politically and ethnically contested areas, including a group of eight Israelis and Palestinians who have been examining the challenges and options in planning a Jerusalem of mutual acceptability. In his studies of city planning practices that either serve the ways of war or the paths of peace, Dr. Bollens sees ramifications for America. Worldwide urban studies have shown him that planners in the United States have much to learn when accommodating the American melting pot. For more information on Dr. Bollen’s work, please download City and Soul.
Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series Inaugural Lecture
We Must Become The Change We Seek: Seven Ways to Build a Culture of Peace
Educating Against Imperialism:
Peter McLaren is internationally recognized as one of the leading architects of critical pedagogy worldwide. McLaren is currently Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Waterloo University in 1973, attended Toronto Teachers College and went on to earn a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education, a Masters of Education at Brock University’s College of Education, and a Ph.D. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Professor McLaren is the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of approximately forty books and monographs. Several hundred of his articles, chapters, interviews, reviews, commentaries and columns have appeared in dozens of scholarly journals and professional magazines since the publication of his first book, Cries From The Corridor, which made the Canadian bestseller list and was one of top ten bestselling books in Canada in 1980 (MacLean's Magazine), initiating a country-wide debate on the status of inner-city schools. Peter McLaren’s papers are housed and on permanent exhibit at the Paulo and Nita Freire Center for International Critical Pedagogy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Peace In The World Is Everybody's Business
Nuclear Weapons and the Human Future
He is the chair of the International Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, a member of the International Steering Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative, and a Councilor of the World Future Council. He serves on the Advisory Council of many organizations throughout the world working for peace and justice.In his early career, he was an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii and San Francisco State University. He worked at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions on issues of international law and ocean governance, and at the Foundation for Reshaping the International Order in the Netherlands on the effects of dual-purpose technologies on disarmament, development and the environment.
Fear and Insecurity As A Cause of Conflict
Dr. Douglas Becker is a lecturer in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. His expertise covers a wide range of topics, including the prosecution of war crimes, the United Nations and conflict resolution, international law, U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic history. Dr. Becker is the acting director of the Peace and Conflict Studies program and advisor for the Peace and Conflict Scholars, as well as numerous other student groups. His most recent publication is The Bush Administration's Campaign Against the International Criminal Court (2004, as part of a collected volume). Dr. Becker is an active member of the International Studies Association and was president of the Model United Nations Educators Association, which is committed to aiding university and high school instructors in Model United Nations and United Nations research. He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Collegiate Conference Association.
The Constitution of Japan was ultra-secretly prepared in only 9 days, February 4th to 12th 1946, by 25 Americans including Beate Sirota Gordon. They were the officials of the Government Section, General Headquarters (GHQ). The Constitution was expected to follow "the MacArthur Note" and Washington guidelines. This was because General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, had became convinced that a Japanese committee on constitutional revision was incapable of adequately democratizing the Imperial Constitution and that the Far Eastern Commission (representing the allied powers) might soon intervene in the matter. On 13th February, the Government Section officials delivered their hastily drafted constitution to the Japanese cabinet and said that the adoption would help to protect the imperial throne and to hasten the end of the Allied Occupation. In this off-the-record meeting, Miss Sirota was "the only woman in the room" as an interpreter. After difficult negotiations and wording revisions, on March 6, the Shidehara cabinet published the text as its own handiwork. General MacArthur announced to the world that he was satisfied with the "new and epoch-making" constitution. On the day when it was promulgated by Emperor Hirohito, Gordon and other GHQ members sat at the Diet gallery.
Though imposed by the United States, the Constitution itself was excellent and beneficial for the redevelopment of Japan. The people were released from militarism, which meant no spending on weapons for years to come. For the happiness of the majority, even land reform was conducted to some extent. The drafters were inspired with pacifism and humanistic idealism, for it was right after the war and before the Cold War. The Constitution had 3 new pillars; Renunciation of War, Sovereignty in the People (with the Emperor as symbol of nation), and Abolition of Feudalistic Family System (or Equality of Sexes). The articles on women read:
Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
Article 24. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of the both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equalities of the sexes. (The latter half is omitted.)
Beate Gordon was born in Vienna in 1924, the daughter of renowned Russian pianist Leo Sirota. She settled in Japan at the age of five, when her father was invited to teach at the Imperial Music Academy. Their house in Tokyo was a salon of artists from super-traditional KABUKI actors, modern dancers, and European musicians to Japanese painters and sculptors. She grew up in cultural diversity and richness. Meanwhile, through housemaids, friends and ladies coming to her mother’s social circle, Gordon came to know about Japanese women, rich or poor, whose social status was low under the feudalistic family system.
– By Kuniko Fujisawa
Mr. Cavitt is an instructor in the Gang Violence Intervention Specialist Training Program and has volunteered in promoting understanding among rival gangs in his South Central Los Angeles community since 1994. After joining Unity Two, a nonprofit gang intervention organization in Los Angeles, he launched Unity Two Chapter Two, an affiliated organization, and is its chief executive officer. In the summer of 2004, he helped negotiate the understanding between two rival gangs, the Swans and East Coast. His gang intervention work takes him to South Center Los Angeles and parts of West Los Angeles, Perris, Hawthorne, and Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California.
2014 Lecture Series Schedule
The Culture of Peace
The SGI-USA Culture of Peace Resource Centers have launched the Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series to engage people in a dialogue on the values, attitudes and behaviors that reject violence and inspire creative energy toward the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
The SGI-USA is involved in non-sectarian, awareness activities to promote the values of peace, culture and education.