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Sunday, August 14, 2022

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Exhibit premieres to a beat


Drums and speakers were presented at the opening ceremony of the Victory over Violence exhibit in the UC Arbor Monday. The exhibit is open 9 a.m. — 4 p.m. the rest of the week. | Nine Nguyen/The Daily Cougar

With hopes of spreading a message of peace and tolerance, UH hosted the Victory over Violence exhibit opening ceremony Monday at the UC Arbor.

The event featured speaker Mike Pardee, executive director of Rice University’s Boniuk Center, as well as a series of drum performances and information booths, all focused on spreading a message of peace in the world.

The Victory of Violence exhibit is a youth-led initiative created through the joint efforts of Soka Gakkai International, a Nichiren Buddhist movement that has nearly 12 million members worldwide, including the UH Soka Peace Group, a student-run organization centered around the Nichiren Buddhist philosophy.

Heather Strange, a sophomore at Houston Community College, said she volunteered with the event because she wanted to help spread the core ideas of peace and understanding that are central to the beliefs of SGI.

“I’m really hoping this event will open the minds of students,” Strange said. “We’re trying to introduce new ways of communicating and opening dialogue with others. It’s about taking the time to understand others — be the best person you can be in life.”

The two groups created the event in order to inspire people around the world to work against the causes of violence in all parts of life, and empower individuals to seek more peaceful resolutions to conflict.

Marketing junior and president of SPG Cherie Dai said changing the world is a slow process because many people have been desensitized to violence by the media.

Even so, she’s optimistic about the future and believes there’s a way forward in the ideas of peace, culture and education.

“The Soka Peace Group here at UH strives to connect people. Events like this go far to help achieve that goal of world peace,” Dai said.

Rose Lee, architecture senior and an officer with SPG, said her experience with the group and spreading its message has been a positive influence on her life.

“For me, it’s more about what I can do for my community. It’s been such an amazing experience,” Lee said.

The Victory over Violence exhibit will be on display at the UC Arbor until April 13. For more information about the Soka Peace Group here at UH, email [email protected] or look them up on Facebook at “Soka Peace Group of UH.”


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