Non-Violence Exhibit at OU
Oklahoma members of Soka Gakkai International (SGI-USA) are sponsoring a "Victory Over Violence" exhibit at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
SGI-USA was one of the co-sponsors of this year's International Day of Peace celebration at the Myriad Gardens.
Here's a news release about the exhibit which starts today:
Non-Violence Exhibits on display at the University of Oklahoma;
Students encouraged to pledge “Victory Over Violence”
(NORMAN)—The student body of the University of Oklahoma will be encouraged to pledge “Victory Over Violence” during a week-long display of the internationally acclaimed exhibition Victory Over Violence, which opens Monday November 3, 2008, with a 5 p.m. ribbon cutting.
The exhibit, which continues through November 7, marks the beginning of a new era to create peace on campus and in the surrounding community by encouraging viewers to take personal responsibility to stop the acts of violence.
The Victory Over Violence (VOV) exhibit is sponsored by the campus Soka (Value-creating) Student Association, an on-campus club which is comprised of members of SGI-USA who attend the University of Oklahoma. SGI-USA is an American lay Buddhist association that promotes peace, culture, and education. The exhibit fosters awareness, introspection, and dialogue about the root causes of violence, and demonstrates how one person’s conviction can change the course of society.
“We approached the administration at the University of Oklahoma about displaying the exhibit, which does not promote any religious views, following several widely-reported incidents of violence, including the death of one student earlier this year,” said Jacqueline Lee, president of the Soka Student Association. “Our goal is to not only stop the violence, but help everyone understand that the root cause for peace begins with each one of us.”
Participants in the ribbon cutting include, Jacqueline Lee (student association president); Jill Irvine, Ph. D., Associate Professor in Religious Studies Program and Director in Women's Studies Program, and Boston Snowden, representative of SGI-USA, Oklahoma.
“By helping the students understand the subtle root causes of violence, such as name-calling, teasing, gossip, and bullying, we can create an awareness that each one of us has the potential and the responsibility to stop violence,” said Mr. Snowden noted. “While we know that the VOV program is only the first step, change begins by empowering people with the understanding that the conviction of one person can make a difference.”
The students at the University of Oklahoma will be asked to sign the VOV pledge:
“I ____(name) will value my own life. Recognizing that a lack of self-identity and hope for the future lay at the roots of all violence, I will reach beyond my limitations, taking concrete steps each day to uncover my real potential. I will never give up on my dreams, even if they seem impossible. I will respect all life. Recognizing that violence comes in many forms, I will not isolate myself, but will create an environment where others feel comfortable and can be themselves. I will see beyond the superficial differences and reflect on my own behavior. I will inspire hope in others. With courage, I will resolutely stand up against violence, be it verbal, physical, or passive, and teach others through my own example. I will support others and encourage them to follow their dreams."
The student association hopes to collect 1000 pledges. The students will tour the exhibit, which will be displayed in the Student Union Beaird Hall, daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.. The general public also is invited to attend.
# # #
UNESCO has proclaimed this the international decade for a Culture of Peace.
The United Nations Association of Greater OKC
"Dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the vital work of the United Nations."