President's Message: Our Unwavering Commitment to Peace and Opposition to War

December 14, 2023
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Aerial view of Founders Hall and Peace Lake with clouds and the sun on the horizon

As president of Soka University of America, I reaffirm a fundamental principle that lies at the very heart of our institution: an unwavering opposition to all forms of war and violence. War is counter to Soka’s proud pacifist heritage and its commitment to peace. We condemn all wars and join the international chorus of calls for a permanent end to the war in Gaza—including the U.N. resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire—and the use of diplomacy and dialogue to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

Our mission to educate global citizens imbued with wisdom, courage, and compassion has never been more urgent. We firmly oppose all forms of violence and injustice and unequivocally condemn the attacks perpetrated by Hamas, as well as the ongoing prosecution of the war by Israel. With dozens of armed conflicts worldwide, the need for champions of peace and dialogue is evident.

In these times, our commitment to peace must be deepened. We reject division and stand in solidarity, understanding there is no single way to express such solidarity. I hope that we extend patience and understanding to one another as we find ways that are true to ourselves. As each of us does so, let’s become role models of fostering peace, beginning in our own community.

Our campus strives to be a model for free thought, mutual respect, and international understanding. We will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other form of hatred. We welcome students, faculty, and staff from all corners of the globe, from diverse backgrounds, and with varied beliefs. It is through this diversity that we find our strength and our ability to contribute to a more peaceful and just world.

In line with these values, we plan to create more forums and dialogues focused on strengthening our community’s capacity for peace and reconciliation. As an educational institution, we aim to foster a new generation of leaders who are equipped not only with knowledge and skills but with a deep-rooted commitment to peace and justice. Fundamentally, war is a violation of the sanctity of life. Let us always treasure each member of our community: at SUA, in our city and county, nation, and worldwide. And let us continue to uphold and share these values now and in the future across the globe.

Please take care,

Ed Feasel