National Parents Day 2017 Celebrated at Madison Square Garden

Manhattan, NY – The National Selection Committee of the National Parents’ Day named five distinguished couples as National Parents of the Year 2017. In a luncheon program on July 15, 2017 at the New Yorker Hotel Sky Lounge, Mr. Tom McDevitt, Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) USA and Rev. Ricardo de Sena, President of UPF USA with support from Rev. Tom Cutts, American Clergy Leadership Conference, Dr. Tanya Edwards, FFWPU New York City, Mrs.Tomiko Duggan, UPF Washington DC and Rev. Emiljun Rapada, National Youth Director, Youth UPF USA honored five amazing couples representing major communities– African, Asian, Caucasian, and the Latinos.

The following are the brief biographies and photos of this year’s awardees.

Rev. Lee and Minister Stasia Godwin. The Godwin family has a unique ministry of mentoring new believers. Since their wedding in 2002, they have continually worked with the ministry team at The Greater Church Of Philadelphia. They have a ministry of teaching and counseling the saints at the church. Lee and Stasia have three beautiful children. Nicholas the oldest is a Union Glazier in Philadelphia. The second son Christopher is finishing a tour of duty in the United States Army while stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Their daughter Kristina begins eight grades at Franklin Towne School in Philadelphia this fall. The Godwin’s will be married 15 years this November.


Dr. Zulfiqar and Mrs. Tanvir Kazmi. Dr. Kazmi comes to his calling with well-established credentials in the social and academic fields. He is an internationally known scholar, International Affairs Analyst and a Dialogue expert. He is the founder and Executive Director of The Commongrounds USA. This organizational network is dedicated to the promotion of peace through educational programs, workshops, conferences, and research. The Commongrounds, supports the mission of the United Nations in pursuing peace, reconciliation, human welfare and actively collaborate with the international and regional organizations similarly dedicated to the cause of achieving justice, world peace, and human prosperity. During his student life Dr. Kazmi founded first non-governmental for youth in Pakistan in early 1974 and his humanitarian efforts were appreciated by the US President Ronald Reagan and the United Nations as well. In past 25 years, he addressed more than 200 Peace & Educational Conferences around the globe.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Kazmi and his wife Tanvir Kazmi was married in 1987 and blessed with 2 sons Mohammad & Ali. The Kazmi Family is a part of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) family and Dr. Kazmi is a direct descendant to Imam Musa Kazim, the holy shrine of Imam Kazim is located in Baghdad, Iraq. From last 1400 years, Kazmi family is a spiritual source of learning for Peace and love of mankind.


Archbishop Angelo Rosario and Bishop Nancy Rosario. Archbishop Angelo Rosario and Bishop Nancy Rosario have served as Pastors of Church of God’s Children in Bronx, New York since 1990. Bishop Rosario is the President/Founder of the United Clergy Coalition and CEO of the Bronx Clergy Task Force from the Bronx Borough President’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives. He did his studies in Theology and Pastoral Counseling at the Inter-American Theological University.

Bishop Nancy Rosario is a bi-vocational minister. She was first ordained as a Missionary in 1984 and served as a missionary in the Dominican Republic. She did her studies in Theology and Church Management and has a degree in Business Administration and Spiritual Psychology. They share a family of 10 children, four of them are pastors. 


Sir Francis and Lady Evelyn Sison. Francis Diaz Sison is the current Regional Commander of the Knights of Rizal who commands more than 100 local chapter across the United States. His wife Lady Evelyn, is a retired Head Nurse of the NICU department of Bellevue Medical Center in New Jersey. She is also of the standard bearer of the Ladies for Rizal. Both are very active members of the Filipino-American Community and had initiated, hosted and coordinated various programs and charity works in the community. Their marriage of 37 years produced two outstanding and fine gentlemen, Michael Vincent and Carl Francis, a US Army Captain.


Bishop Dr. Raphael Sr. and Minister Patricia Williams. Bishop Raphael Williams Sr., a native of Detroit, Michigan, is God’s visionary for Greater Faith Assembly Outreach Ministries, Inc. located on Detroit’s east side.

Bishop Williams and his loving wife, Pastor Patricia Williams, are the proud parents of six (6) children, who all work faithfully in ministry: Kyra, Church Administrator; Raphael Jr., Associate Pastor; Rachard, Musical Director/Organist; Randon (Romero), Choir Director/Musician; Kalia, Praiser; Kaylyn, Youth Department Leader; seven grandchildren, with hopes of many more to come. They also serve as surrogate parents for many other children in the church and community.


During the awarding ceremony, Congressman John Dolittle, the Regional Chair of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), North America briefly shared the work of IAPP in securing peace in the region. Other noted special guests, media, and UPF Executive Directors were among the forty people who were invited to this special event in support of the Peace Rally at the Madison Square Garden (MSG). After lunch, all proceeded to MSG to join thousands of people from all walks of life to support and celebrate the “Peace Starts With Me” Rally with Dr. Hak Jan Han Moon, co-founder of UPF and the founder of IAPP as the keynote speaker.


Contributed by: Emiljun Rapada, UPF USA

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