“The Moulin Rouge Agreement” A Day of Reconciliation and Healing
Las Vegas, NV – a celebration on the “The Moulin Rouge Agreement” was held at the prestigious International Peace Education Center (IPEC) on March 26, 2016 in the afternoon and into the evening with about 120 guests, participants and volunteers.
Katherine Duncan, as Chairwoman of Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce remembered the event held 2 years ago which resulted in the Mayor of Las Vegas, making a Proclamation that March 26 is Moulin Rouge Agreement Day in Las Vegas. This agreement first allowed the African American guests and performers to stay in the Casinos. Prior to this agreement, in 1960, African Americans could not be guests or workers in the casinos. With issues of division and ill feeling between races becoming a greater national issue, Katherine Duncan, on behalf of Ward 5 Chamber of Commerce and Harrison House, wanted to see a program to affirm this agreement in the context of reconciliation and healing. She requested the participation of the Universal Peace Federation and Women’s Federation for World Peace including a panel discussion and the “Bridge of Peace”.
After welcoming guests and recognizing dignitaries, an opening prayer was given by Rev. Herbert Brown, Council Member of the Las Vegas Family Church. A Pledge of Allegiance was given by all and a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America” was led by Jerushia McDonald Hylton and Sandy Kastel.
Mrs. Leslie Rigney, Executive Director of Universal Peace Federation Las Vegas spoke of the need for healing and reconciliation, which ultimately starts with the individual and the family, with the concept that we are ‘One Family Under God’.
Monica Lenoir led a panel titled “Challenges to Equal Access and Inclusion: The Power of Reconciliation and Healing.” The panelists include Mrs. Janie Greenspun-Gale, daughter of Mr. Hank Greenspun, Founder of the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper, who helped initiate the Moulin Rouge Agreement; Roxann McCoy, President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the NAACP; Niger Innes, National Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality and serves on the Congressional Advocacy Team for the Tea Party; Mary Perry, a long-time advocate for inclusion and equality of opportunity, currently practicing law in Las Vegas, and Rev. Richard de Sena, National President of UPF-USA. Many aspects of the issue were discussed. How the individual, family, civic leaders and the media all contribute to both the problems and the solutions, were shared in a respectful atmosphere.
The panelists were appointed Ambassadors for Peace by Rev. Richard de Sena, Katherine Duncan, Chairwoman of UPF Las Vegas, and Leslie Rigney, Later, Mr. Jim Rigney and Rev. Cheryl James requested guests to bring up their written issues with racial unfairness, repentance, resentments, forgiveness. They prayed over these for liberation of these continued painful emotional experiences.
To conclude the program, everyone formed a large circle, and sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, with a feeling that something significant just happened in Las Vegas! A light buffet dinner was served followed with entertainment and a feeling of celebration. There was dancing, sharing and friendships made before the evening ended. Kelesio Howard coordinated the entertainment segment who also designed a beautiful program booklet with several video displays and brought in several local entertainers.
Las Vegas Sun, Southern Nevada’s award-winning source for news since 1950 published the celebration on the same day on its online portal http://lasvegassun.com/photos/galleries/2016/mar/26/moulin-rouge-agreement-anniversary-universal-peace/#/9
Contributed by: Leslie Rigney, Executive Director, UPF Las Vegas