Welcome to the Culture of Peace Resource Center
“The policy-making process of a state reflects the social culture of a society that is making the policies. That means that you can’t accomplish at a high inter-state level what you don’t have any basis for in the habits, attitudes and lifeways of the people.” - Elise Boulding
As part of its commitment to the build a culture of peace, Soka Gakkai International (SGI) - USA has
opened Culture of Peace Resource Centers in its New York, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco and
Hawaii Buddhist centers as well as in its national headquarters in Santa Monica, CA.
The Washington DC Culture of Peace Resource Center opened on November 18, 2008 as a “virtual center”
within the Buddhist center. Following our inauguration, we launched the Culture of Peace Distinguished
Speaker Series, where we seek to bring together some of the best thinkers and activists in the diverse
field of peacebuilding to address one or more of the following eight areas from the United Nations Programme
of Action on a Culture of Peace: (1) Foster a Culture of Peace through education; (2) Promote sustainable economic and social development; (3) Promote respect for all human rights; (4) Ensure equality between men and women; 5) Foster democratic participation; (6) Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity; (7) Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge; and (8) Promote international peace and security.
By fostering encounters between a diverse array of speakers, thinkers, activists, and people from all walks of life, the series seeks to highlight the essential role that ordinary citizens have in addressing some our planets most pressing issues, and to encourage our participants to take action in the way that best suits them.
Current realities call for a transformational change in nuclear weapons policy. On April 27, 2017 at the United States Capitol Visitors Center, an all-day conference brought together scientists, policy experts, and religious leaders to discuss what must be done to pave the way for a nuclear weapons-free world. The event was convened by Soka Gakkai International-USA, cosponsored by PSR and other groups. Click here for more information about the conference.
An interview with filmmaker
Abigail E. Disney following the screening of her film The Armor of Light.
July 16, 2016
The Armor of Light explores gun violence in America in a way that attempts to bridge political divides by approaching it from a moral perspective. It also aims to transcend the environment of polarization and divisive rhetoric that surrounds the gun violence issue by providing a heartening
example of people of different views engaging in thoughtful dialogue, informed by civility, and a mutual respect for our common humanity.
At its core, it also asks the deeper human question – should people shape and direct their lives based on fear or compassion?
A Conversation on Hidden Bias. How It Shapes Our Lives and World with Rene Redwood and Howard J. Ross. July 16, 2016
Current events have us questioning the progress of race relations in America. We are all human. We all are racial beings. We all have bias. Becoming aware of our biases gives us options-to stay as we are or to change our behavior. What more can we learn? Rene Redwood is one of the nation's foremost experts on diversity, cultural competence and an advocate for inclusion. Howard J. Ross is one of the nation's leading diversity consultants and a nationally recognized expert on the workings of unconscious bias
First White House Buddhist Leaders Conference. Climate Change and Social Justice Were the Focus of Historic Conference. May 14, 2015
By any standard it was a remarkable sight. Buddhist leaders, monks and scholars representing each of the major religious traditions and ethnicities had come together for the first White House-U.S. Buddhist Leaders Conference
In light of the estimated 3.5 million people in the U.S who identify as Buddhist, there was a shared sense that the Buddhist tradition, with its emphasis on interconnectedness, wisdom and compassion, could contribute much to the national conversation.
Making A Difference-Faith Communities and the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. April 24, 2014
A movement has emerged within the global disarmament community that focuses on the "humanitarian consequences of nuclear war as a way of re-energizing the disarmament discourse and pressing the nuclear weapons states for more progress. While it may seem obvious, what do we mean by the "humanitarian consequences" of nuclear war? Can this emphasis revitalize the engagement of U.S. faith communities in the disarmament process?
Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why It Matters A Dialogue with Sanam Naraghi Anderlini. May 21, 2013
Men do not always make war, nor do women always make peace happen. But around the world, often out of sight and in the face of unimaginable obstacles, women are doing extraordinary things to build, create and maintain peace. The roles women often play in society--caring for children and keeping families together--give them a particularly keen desire to prevent violent conflict. Why is it then that women’s voices are often missing from vital meetings which lay out future plans for a country emerging from conflict? What is being done to change this?
Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World with Tad Daiey. November 16, 2011
Tad Daley is the author of APOCALYPSE NEVER: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World. He argues that nuclear disarmament is something we can transform from a utopian fantasy into a concrete political goal, and that a world without nuclear weapons can set us on the road toward a world without armies and a world without war.
King Beyond Black & White: Securing Peace and Justice for All with Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter. October 15, 2011
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. personally recruited Lawrence Edward Carter as a 10th grader to come to Morehouse College. Twenty one years later, Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter became the first Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel in 1979. Today he is Professor of Religion and College Curator at Morehouse College.
Toward, Understanding, Respect and Solidarity: A Buddhist-Islamic Dialogue. March 2, 2011
Renowned scholar and author Ambassador Akbar Ahmed joins SGI’s Bill Aiken for a conversation about historic connections between the two faith traditions as well as the impact of the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance. Is Islam compatible with democracy? What role will women play? What type of aid to the Muslim world should the US be sending?
Empowering and Including Women in the Peace Process with Karla Koppell. March 3, 2010
As Director of the Institute for Inclusive Security and the Washington Office of the Hunt Alternative Fund, Carla Koppell works extensively with women and civil society leaders from conflict areas worldwide including the Middle East, Iraq, Sudan, and Uganda. Carla speaks and writes widely on the inclusion of women in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts
Creating a Space for the Disarmament Dialogue: The Pugwash Conferences with Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell. November 11, 2009
Do recent developments give hope that we might reach a “tipping point” in the quest to eliminate nuclear weapons? If so, how can the dialogue among the world’s leading policy makers and scientists help to make this dream a reality? What role can ordinary citizens play? Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, Executive Director, Pugwash Conferences‐USA; former program director for international security studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and noted author on a wide range of weapons and security issues.
I’d Rather Teach Peace with Colman McCarthy. February 24, 2009
Colman McCarthy has written for The Washington Post since 1968. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Teaching Peace, a nonprofit group that helps schools begin or broaden peace studies programs. He is a speaker whose fresh ideas, sense of social justice and sparkling wit have stirred audiences for 25 years. He lectures at more than 20 colleges and universities annually, convincingly calling on students to become citizens who are other‐centered, not self‐centered. He argues persuasively that each of us is caIIed on to be a peacemaker in our personal and political lives.
Grand Opening of the Center for Peace with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury. November 18, 2008
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Ambassador Chowdhury looks at the importance of building a culture of peace and highlights the key role of women in this regard. ALSO – performance from Latin Grammy winner Nestor Torres.