Former Mayor of Hiroshima Tadatoshi Akiba will receive the Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leadership Award. Akiba is one of the most prominent and respected leaders in the campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons. During his three terms as Mayor from 1999 to 2011, he served as President of Mayors for Peace and oversaw its expansion from 440 members to nearly 5,000 members, uniting mayors in more than 100 countries for the launch of the group’s 2020 Vision Campaign to escalate pressure on governments to abolish all nuclear weapons by 2020. Earlier in his career, Akiba was a mathematics professor before serving in the Japanese House of Representatives for nine years. While teaching at Tufts University in 1979, he created and managed the Hibakusha Travel Grant Program, inviting international journalists to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to hear from the hibakusha (survivors) and help the world understand the realities of the atomic bombings. He has received numerous awards for his international peace work, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (also known as the Asian Nobel Prize).
Shigeko Sasamori will accept the Foundation’s World Citizenship Award on behalf of all hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sasamori was 13 years old and within one mile of the blast’s hypocenter when the nuclear bomb exploded over Hiroshima. She is one of the few surviving Hiroshima Maidens, a group of 25 women who were seriously injured by the blast and brought to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery in 1955 by Norman Cousins. She returned to the U.S. in 1958 to study nursing and became an adopted member of the Cousins family. For over 30 years, she has campaigned worldwide for nuclear disarmament, traveling extensively to share her story and raise awareness. She has appeared before heads of state, the United Nations and in the documentary “White Light/Black Rain: Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
he Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has a rich history of honoring remarkable leaders who pursue peace, including the XIVth Dalai Lama, Walter Cronkite, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ted Turner, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, among many other distinguished leaders.
In addition to raising much-needed funds to support the Foundation’s work for a world free of nuclear weapons, the event’s program is designed to celebrate and encourage leadership for a more peaceful and just world. Over 80 students from local colleges and high schools will be able to attend this year’s event thanks to sponsors who have underwritten the cost of their tickets. The evening will begin at 5:30 P.M. with a reception and silent auction on the Biltmore’s La Pacifica Terrace to be followed by the awards program and dinner at 6:30 P.M. in the La Pacifica Ballroom.
To learn more about the Evening For Peace, visit www.wagingpeace.org or call the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at 805-965-3443.