Oberlin, Ohio–As a symbol of peace and friendship, Oberlin College and Oberlin Shansi will enter into a new collaboration with the Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Green Legacy is a nonprofit that seeks to promote international peace and friendship by spreading worldwide seeds and saplings that originate from trees that survived the atomic bombs.
Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov, Oberlin Shansi Executive Director Gavin Tritt, and Tomoko Watanabe, cofounder of Green Legacy Hiroshima, will sign a memorandum of understanding at 11:30 a.m. September 8 at the Cox Administration Building.
After the signing, President Krislov will officially accept gingko tree seeds from Watanabe on the terrace of the Cox Building. After the presentation Watanabe will be offered a walk around Tappan Square to consider possible planting sites for the future saplings that will take approximately two years to develop from the seeds. Members of the community and college have been invited to attend both events.
“Ms. Watanabe’s visit and generous gift of gingko seeds provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue about peace within the Oberlin campus and surrounding community,” says Tritt. “It is my hope that over time these trees will inspire an ongoing conversation around global and local peace and social development questions.”
During her stay in Oberlin through September 12, Watanabe is taking part in a number of additional public activities to spread the message of peace. The planned events include: “Sadako: In the Spirit of Peace” an interactive exhibition at Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), a film screening of Hiroshima no Pika at the Oberlin Public Library, and a presentation on the famous children’s story, Sadako’s Prayer, by Watanabe at the FAVA.
Background on Tomoko Watanabe, Green Legacy Hiroshima and Asian Network of Trust, Hiroshima
Tomoko Watanabe is cofounder of Green Legacy Hiroshima and executive director of Asian Network of Trust – Hiroshima (ANT – Hiroshima). Green Legacy is a volunteer initiative, established to safeguard and spread worldwide the seeds and saplings originating from trees in Hiroshima that have survived the atomic bombing. ANT-Hiroshima draws its inspiration from the experience of the A-bomb survivors who, together with international support, worked to rebuild their shattered city in a spirit of peace and reconciliation. In a similar spirit, ANT-Hiroshima is involved in a range of relief, reconstruction, and peace-building projects in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and Philippines. More information on these organizations is available at http://www.ant-hiroshima.org
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