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July 2020
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Peace Education

African Conference Reaches for Global Connections

USA-2019-04-27-African Conference Reaches for Global Connections

Durham, United States—Thirty-five guests attended an “African Conference Global Connections,” which was held in the U.S. state of North Carolina.

The day-long event, which was held in the Triangle Family Church, was organized by Sharon Pace, the executive director of the North Carolina chapter of UPF, along with co-sponsors Nwachukwu “Chuk” Okafor, founder of Ohanaeze Ndigbo of North Carolina; Beverly Yekeson of the Liberia Crisis Center; Pearl Forbes from Mama Africa Festival; and Triangle Family Church.

The program began with a light breakfast. When guests arrived and registered, they received a program and a new 44-page Africa Summit ALC Source Book, which had been edited for this conference by UPF of NC.

After the moderator, Nwachukwu “Chuk” Okafor, welcomed everyone, Tim Davis of the Triangle Family Church prayed to commence the gathering. A letter of thanks for peace and unity signed by Durham Mayor Steve Schewel was read by Sharon Pace.

The North Carolina Kenya Dance and Singing Group, directed by Lenora Ochieng and coordinated by Carol Kimani, performed a joyful African dance and led everyone in inspiring group songs.

John Pace, co-director of UPF-North Carolina, briefly explained the UPF Five Universal Principles of Peace.

The guest speaker, Immanuel Jarvis, the North Carolina MLK Jr. commissioner and president of the Durham Republican Party, gave a wonderful speech titled “World Peace: Seeing What Others Don’t See.” He compared the peace visions of UPF founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also quoted from the poem “Crown of Glory,” written by Rev. Moon when he was a teenager.

A 22-minute video was shown, which detailed Dr. Hak Jan Han Moon’s initiatives in Africa, starting from the African Summit in Senegal, including her visit and prayer at Goree Island, as well as the International Peace Blessing event in Zimbabwe and finally the conference in South Africa in partnership with the House of Mandela. 

Later, Sharon Pace appointed three new Ambassadors for Peace, including Mary Jane Aju, CEO of Aju Global Media, who was unable to attend the event but watched it on her phone from Atlanta, Georgia. She was so happy to have received her Ambassador for Peace certificate live on the telephone. The other two appointees were Martins Ogbu, CEO of Blue Rose Media Production and president of Enugu Professionals for Good Governance; and Toni Ekeh, a human resources professional, career coach and mentor.

Beverly Yekeson of the Liberia Crisis Center, an Ambassador for Peace, read from the Africa Summit ALC Source Book about building a community of peace.

Everyone participated in six roundtable discussions about peace and the community. Afterward several people reported on the content of their group discussions.

To end the morning session, everyone participated in a “Blessing toast for strong marriages and families,” realizing that strong families are the cornerstone for world peace.

Before enjoying the lunch prepared by the Triangle Family Church, the participants posed for a group photo to remember this important conference. While having fellowship, the guests enjoyed the performance of songs and dances.

Dr. LeVonder Brinkley, an author, counselor and Ambassador for Peace, read about “Peace Starts with Me” to begin the final session. After the final roundtable discussions, everyone made a circle, while holding each other’s hands, and sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” A prayer was said to close the gathering.

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