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Empowerment of Women

UPF-USA Honors Activist Women in North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina, USA - A statewide UPF program titled “The New Era of Women Leadership” was held on April 28 at the Lovin’ Life Ministries center in Durham, North Carolina. The event was aimed to raise public awareness of human-rights violations in Japan, Liberia, and the United States, and it addressed how we, as passionate individuals, can collaborate to solve this global problem.

Special guests from many organizations, countries, races, religions, cultures, and backgrounds gathered to share their personal experiences with human-rights violations and their current efforts to resolve these issues.

The event began with musical entertainment by Unificationist Stephanie Nishida and included a delicious meal, during which attendees socialized. Several guest speakers kicked off the evening with personal testimonies, visual presentations, and innovative ways we can help address  human-rights issues all over the world. Sharon Pace, North Carolina’s UPF state coordinator, discussed the power and will of women in building peace.

Beverly Goll-Yekeson, founder of Liberia Crisis Center, described the pressing issue of sexual abuse and human-rights violations of women and children in Liberia. Ambassador for Peace LeVander Brinkley followed with a passionate song.

Throughout the evening, attendees split into discussion groups to answer and ask questions about the topics raised. These breakout sessions were effective because they allowed for each attendee to connect in some way to other people of different races and to the human-rights issues.

Luke Higuchi, president of Survivors Against Forced Exit, gave a presentation about the reality of forced abductions of Unification Church members in Japan over four decades. Higuchi’s video presentation, personal testimony, and detailed explanation touched the audience deeply. Following that, Sharon and John Pace presented Ambassador for Peace certificates to several individuals who have been working tirelessly in their efforts to combat sex trafficking and abuse.

Afterwards, Becca Bishopric, a fellow of Women NC, a nonprofit organization originating from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), gave a presentation on the issue of sex trafficking in North Carolina and the United States.

To conclude the event, Carolyn Sampson, president of Women’s Federation for World Peace of North Carolina, discussed the role of women in striving for world peace. She gave practical suggestions to women and men for better involving ourselves in peace-making.

The evening ended with every attendee holding hands in a circle while Sharon Pace offered a prayer for peace.

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