Soka University Announces Global Citizen Award

November 18, 2020
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Exterior of Founders Hall

In honor of the 20th Anniversary of its Aliso Viejo campus, Soka University is inaugurating a Global Citizen Award, presenting it to an individual who has made a major contribution to the global community and inspired positive change in one of the following areas:

  • The practice of nonviolence in human society
  • The study of ecological realities and means of protecting the environment
  • The focus on poverty and global justice
  • The awareness of human equality and dignity

The prize will be awarded annually and will include an award of $25,000 to carry on the winner’s work. The call for nominations will open on November 18 each year with a deadline for nomination submittals of January 31. The recipient will be announced on March 16 of each year.

The first Global Citizen Award will be presented on May 3, 2021, Soka University of America’s 20th anniversary dedication day.

“As Soka University celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are honored to shine a spotlight on individuals who are using their wisdom, courage, and compassion to lift up others and improve our world,” SUA President Ed Feasel said. “Our mission is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life, people who will give back to their communities and make this world a better place. We encourage nominations of people who are outstanding, inspirational examples of the positive impact of individual efforts.”

Nomination submittals should include the following:

  • Nomination letter detailing the candidate’s contributions in one or more of the areas identified in the criteria section as well as how the candidate has embodied the essential elements of global citizenship in addressing these issues (maximum 1,000 words, supporting documents may be attached).
  • Letter from nominee acknowledging consent to their nomination, contact information (address, email and phone number) and biography
  • Supplemental information from nominator (contact information: address, email, phone number, relationship to nominee, affiliation to Soka University of America, if any)

Nominations can be electronically submitted to or by mail to:

Soka Global Citizen Award Committee, Soka University of America, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Website: Questions regarding the nominating process may be directed to

BACKGROUND: In his 1996 address at Teachers College, Columbia University, Soka University of America Founder Daisaku Ikeda said:

“Global society today faces myriad interlocking crises. These include the issues of war, environmental degradation, the North-South development gap, and divisions among people based on differences of ethnicity, religion, or language. The list is long and familiar, and the road to solutions may seem all too distant and daunting. It is my view, however, that the root of all these problems is our collective failure to make the human being – human happiness – the consistent focus and goal in all fields of endeavor. The human being is the point to which we must return and from which we must depart anew. What is required is a human transformation – a human revolution.”

In this address, Mr. Ikeda further shared the essential elements of global citizenship:

  • The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life and living.
  • The courage not to fear or deny difference, but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures, and to grow from encounters with them.
  • The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends to those suffering in distant places.