Seijin Tranberg, a second-generation Unificationist, will pedal for social justice this winter in what he calls a “Tour De Cause” bicycle challenge aimed at bringing attention to the issue of faith-breaking in Japan. The tour will begin from his hometown in Atlanta, Georgia on December 15, 2011 and will end in Los Angeles in January, 2012.
A 22-year-old college junior in political science and international relations, Tranberg is the student body president at Georgia Gwinnett College. “The student body is about 8,000 students, and I help out with funding for all the student organizations on campus,” he said. “I like to consistently challenge myself to become a better person as a way to inspire others to do the same. I love dreaming big, and doing everything in my power to make them a reality. When I grow up, I'd like to think that I'm going to help save the world.”
Tranberg also keeps in touch with representatives of CARP (the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles) around the United States. “Georgia Gwinnett doesn’t have a CARP chapter on campus, but I try to live up to CARP’s ideals. My sister and I are the only Unificationists on campus, so we’re the only ones aware of the mission and vision of what CARP is. But we advocate for CARP’s ideals of internal and external excellence, creating a generation of peace, and using yourself and your time in college for the greater good. I feel that my bike trip is something that exemplifies the CARP vision.”
Tranberg (right) was elected student body president at Georgia Gwinnett College in April 2011.
The cycling trip totals to approximately 2,351 miles, and Tranberg says that he hopes to maintain an average of 60 miles a day. “I suspect that there will be some days when I’ll be pushed back, or I’ll get ahead, so I’ve given myself 45-50 days to do the actual trip,” he said. “I have to be in Los Angeles by January 31, 2012, because I’ll be departing for China the next day, where I’ll be studying abroad at the Beijing Language and Culture University. There I will study Chinese language and culture, but I’m also going to be taking a class in Chinese foreign policy.”
Tranberg is the second out of the six children of Mr. David and Mrs. Sumiko Tranberg, from the United States and Japan, respectively. “My parents were initially concerned about me when they heard that I was going to bike across the country, but when I told them that I was doing this to raise awareness on the faith-breaking issue taking place in Japan, they were very grateful,” said Tranberg. “My mother especially thanked me and has been very supportive. She’s never personally encountered deprogrammers, but as a native of Japan, she knows people who have been affected. I think the issue of faith-breaking is a very difficult one for any Japanese member. It’s their families, their brothers and sisters we’re talking about, people with a common heritage who are getting kidnapped and deprogrammed. We need to stop deprogramming from happening to not just Unificationists like me, but also to anyone who chooses to pursue a life of faith.”
As for the future, Tranberg is already well-aware of his career choice. “I definitely want to go to a top-tier graduate school. I want to get a doctorate and a Masters in public policy. Foreign policy is an area I’m particularly interested in, specifically U.S. foreign policy to East Asia.”
Follow Tranberg’s blog at http://tourdecause.blogspot.com
Contributed by Ariana Moon