As I Rise: Launching of the GWPN on the West Coast
Contributed by Angelika Selle, WFWP USA President.
Women leaders of all ages and backgrounds from all around the country gathered on April 6, 2019 in the City of Angels (Los Angeles) for a morning reception to launch the Global Women’s Peace Network (GWPN) in the Pacific Rim Region. The Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) co-founders, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, had predicted many years ago that the West Coast of America is indeed where the era of women and mothers would emerge and from where it would spread.
A most warm, joyful, uplifting, and festive spirit filled the ballroom of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at LAX that morning, where nearly 100 women poured in.
The moment the newly appointed WFWP International President, Mrs. Julia Moon, arrived and entered the room, she was surrounded by the guests who expressed their love, shared warm greetings, and then requested to take photos with her even before the event began.
WFWP USA Vice President Katarina Connery skillfully and warmly guided the audience through the short but powerful program, with Mrs. Moon delivering her first message in the U.S. since her inauguration. In her address, she showed that she had deeply and insightfully studied the GWPN and its vision, despite having been involved in a completely different field prior to this, namely, the arts. She expressed her strong commitment to moving the GWPN forward, using her background in the arts to touch souls and bring about synergy where words are ineffective. Read her speech here.
Following this, WFWP USA President Angelika Selle introduced the GWPN in more detail, its vision, areas of focus, and latest developments since the East Coast inaugural ceremony on November 11, 2018. She introduced two newly completed educational tools that were created recently by WFWP USA to assist in understanding and implementing the vision behind GWPN’s three areas of focus; women’s leadership, family and environment.
The first tool, the “Cornerstone for Happiness – Marriage and Family” seminar, introduces a new paradigm on marriage and relationships which have proven to help create healthy and happy families in strengthening the fiber of the family, and which is believed to be the cornerstone for a peaceful world. The second tool, the “Leadership of the Heart” curriculum, empowers women to become peace leaders, leading “from the inside out,” based on self-change and learning skills to transform the current toxic environment and toxic emotions in relationships into wholesome ones.
Special guest speaker Dr. Susan Taffer, founder and CEO of the World Connections Foundation who promotes the idea that “Education is Healing and Healing is Education,” completely captured the attention of the room with her riveting explanation of “What does it all mean?” She weaved the vision of WFWP, the founders and her area of education skillfully into one, thus demonstrating how this great vision can be implemented in one area of endeavor.
Following the guest speaker, WFWP honored three outstanding women with the HerStory Award: Dr. Cherilyn Lee, founder of Nu Wellness Healthcare Inc., Ms. Rachanee Jackson, member and activist of the Tri-Counties African American Alliance, and former Congresswoman Mrs. Diane E. Watson, who all shared a snippet of their lives about how they turned pain into purpose and defeat into triumph.
WFWP USA then offered an “honorable mention” to appreciate two WFWP women leaders, who have been sacrificing and investing themselves tirelessly over many years to make WFWP into what it is today: Mrs. Fannie Smith from Chicago, the National Director of the Schools of Africa project, and Emma Reed, the WFWP Southern California Chairwoman.
Between the speakers and the awards ceremony that followed, three wonderful performers lifted the atmosphere through song. Ms. Rebecca Zinke’s rendition of “Find Your Way” melted the women, reminding all to “keep your faith, even when you go through darkness.” Minister Magdalene Morris, LA gospel singer and performer, reminded the women “to lay down my burden, down by the riverside.” Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye, a well-known singer and performer from New York who closed out the eventful morning with a rendition of “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.” Her dramatic soprano voice permeated everyone’s heart as she also inserted words from the Fannie Lou Hamer play about the civil rights movement. It brought the history of slavery to life and rang especially true in light of the recent murder of rapper Nipsey Hussle, a few days prior to the event.
Stay tuned for announcements on the next launching of the GWPN in the Southwest Region.