SGI-USA Culture Department
Be humanistic leaders, overflowing with faith and intellect
(SGI-USA Culture Department motto, received from SGI President Ikeda on August 8, 2015)



Guidelines & Memos

Vision Statement

"I founded the SGI-USA Culture Department…because I firmly believed that producing promising, capable people equipped with faith and intellect would be vital for the development of America.

I would like each of you to deeply confirm this fundamental reason for the department's formation by fostering a steady stream of capable people, in your land of freedom, who are brimming with hope."

SGI President Ikeda, January 30, 1999

Guiding Principles

Culture Department members will:

  • Challenge ourselves to seek and embody our mentor's profound vision and heart.
  • Strive each day to win in our human revolution.
  • "Study Buddhism more deeply and seriously than ever before."
      (Message to SGI-USA Culture Dept., Jan 30, 1999)
  • Support and participate in local district and other organizational activities.
  • Engage in dialogue, introducing actual proof of Buddhist humanism and the greatness of our mentor to society.
  • Support and encourage one another in faith.

What is the SGI-USA Culture Department?

When SGI President Daisaku Ikeda came to the United States in February of 1990, he boldly created a new SGI-USA organization. One aspect of this new beginning was the establishment of the Culture Department, a group formed to encourage members involved in elementary, secondary and higher education, the healing arts, and legal professions. Compassionate doctors, humanistic educators, and lawyers who side with justice are key components in our quest to create individual happiness and a peaceful world. The goal of the Culture Department is to nurture promising, capable people of faith and intellect who exemplify humanistic leadership, embracing wisdom, hope, and compassion. The Culture Department welcomes graduate students over the age of 25, pursuing degrees in the five professional divisions described below. Culture Department members who have retired from their professional field are welcome to continue attending meetings.

Who are Culture Department Members?

Academic: university/college lecturers, professors or other faculty; academic scientists, researchers, archivists; administrators with academic appointments; librarians with advanced academic degrees; doctoral students and postdocs.

Educators: teachers (preK-12), paraprofessionals, administrators, school counselors, school psychologists, school therapists, librarians, pre-school educators; candidates pursuing education degrees.

Healing Arts: practitioners in a health care profession which either requires their members to be registered, licensed or certified by their respective state. Nurses, RN, LPN, LVN, CNA, Pharmacists, Psych tech, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage Family Therapists, Psychologists, School Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Rehab Therapists, Art Therapists, Music Therapists, Acupuncturists and Chiropractors. Also includes graduate students who are studying in the related field.

Physician and Professional Doctors Division: includes those who are Doctors of Allopathy, Doctors of Osteopathy, Doctors of Dentistry, Doctors of Dental Surgery, Doctors of Podiatry, Doctors of Optometry, and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, and have an active license to practice and take care of patients in their specialty in the United States, or be in residency training, medical school or retired. The group would not include Doctors of Pharmacology and Doctors of Philosophy (PhD's) in any field.

Legal Division: anyone licensed or employed to assist in the legal profession including lawyers, paralegals, legal clerks, legal assistants, court reporters, judges, elected officials with legislative functions; students in law school.

"The power of culture may be hard to detect at times, but it is a fundamental force since it transforms the human heart. Political and economic developments may be flashier and appear on the news more often, but culture and education are the forces that actually shape the age. We must not make the mistake of looking at shallow waters that bubble noisily over the rocks; the deep currents are even more important to know the true nature of the river." SGI President Daisaku Ikeda
(Faith into Action, pp.259-60)

"Significant is the mission that you carry on using your virtues of wisdom and courage. It is my earnest hope that you, the members of the Culture Department of the SGI-USA, will manifest your unparalleled potential in your respective fields of endeavor with the effectiveness of more than one thousand other individuals, carrying out successful activities in your individual battlefields of Kosen-Rufu as a "practice-first general of wisdom." SGI President Daisaku Ikeda
(2006 message to the Culture Department)