UPF USA National Leaders Meet For Annual Strategic Planning

Las Vegas, NV – The national leaders and state executive directors of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) USA met at the International Peace and Education Center on April 21-23, 2017 to discuss the strategic framework for 2017 to 2020. The conference was attended by 30 leaders from across the United States.

On Friday, April 21st, at the opening session, participants were asked about their expectations from the conference and what were the compelling reasons why they volunteered and stepped up as leaders under the banner of UPF. Several answers included getting to know more about UPF and the American Leadership Conference (ALC) and how to host one in their States. Also, some mentioned about wanting to learn more and have the confidence to empower and educate leaders in their communities. Others wanted to work together in engaging especially the younger generation in order to fulfill the mission and vision of the organization. Later, Tom McDevitt, UPF-USA Chairman, laid out the primary content of the conference and the work of UPF-USA based on the founder’s words and directions towards national restoration and tribal mission.

The second day, April 22nd, started with Hoon Dok Hwe, reading and learning words that are life-giving and inspirational. The format was like a world café or ‘ALC-style’ where someone reads some text followed by a group discussion from each table and finally, someone shared a summary of their conversation.

After breakfast, the group dived into strategic content where there was a serious discussion on the mission, vision, and values of UPF-USA based on the founder’s intention and master plan. Also, a discussion on the 2017 – 2020 goals and strategies were clarified.

Clearly, UPF-USA determines to stay true to the original vision and mission of the organization and so, in summary, we determined to building a new transformational, and unified patriotic movement in America that identifies, educates, organizes and mobilizes national, state and citizen leaders based on a solution-oriented God-centered worldview, reaching beyond boundaries of race, religion, ethnicity, or partisan affiliation to move America in the right direction as God’s hope for the world.”

Our guiding principles are taken from the family pledge #2 that says “we pledge to perfect the dutiful way of filial piety in our family, patriotism in our nation, saints in the world, and divine sons and daughter in heaven and on earth by centering on true love”, and our mandate is taken from the Cheon Il Guk three-pillar strategic framework of mission, peace and talent development. The work of UPF-USA and its portfolio of signature programs creates the environment for deeper relationships, mobilizes talent in pursuit of the mission to change society based on the ideals of character, family, and tribe.

Our leadership orientation is to build tribes of like-minded, faith-based, patriotic citizens who want to make a difference in their families, communities, states, nation and world beginning with “mastering a true lifestyle” as leaders.

Then the group discussed some exciting programs such as the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), the ALC, Monthly Forums, the Annual Parents Day, Religious Youth Service and other special events.

Maria Vargas, Emiljun Rapada, and Tomiko Duggan presented the recently concluded ALCs in New York, New Jersey, and Washington DC respectively and shared best practices as well as lessons learned from the program. Each participant was given a copy of the ALC Sourcebook then Tom McDevitt facilitated the discussion on content development. Everyone was so engaged and excited about the endless possibilities of hosting ALC in their local areas and communities. There were so much enthusiasm and creative energy during these conversations. All agreed that there are hopeful and productive results from this endeavor.

The afternoon sessions were spent on organizational development and fund development. UPF-USA understands that both of these aspects are vital to the work and efficient operation of the organization. There was a huge discussion on the younger generation and young professionals as well as how to raise money to fund programs and projects of local chapters.

On the final day, April 23rd, the group learned about the IT infrastructure and other internet-based platforms that is being utilized by the national office. The website was presented and few suggestions were raised to improve its functionality. Then Eugene Harnett shared about event marketing and outreach, harnessing the power of internet technology and social media. He shared few tricks and ways to reach out to people and engage them in the work of UPF. Then finally Richard de Sena, facilitated more discussions such as team structure, recruitment, partnerships as well as other topics that were so deemed important to the state representatives. He put great emphasis on the membership drive to expand the work of UPF-USA and make it sustainable.

After lunch, everyone proceeded to the Cheon Hwa Gung where the group was met by Rev. Ken Doo, the senior pastor of FFWPU Las Vegas. He explained significant moments and historical events that took place in the area. He explained the core motivation why the UPF founders chose Las Vegas and what works had been accomplished for the past years. The group ended the day and the conference with sincere reflections and commitment to fulfill the mission and mandate of UPF-USA for national restoration towards a peaceful and prosperous world aligned with True Mother´s Vision 2020.


Contributed by: Emiljun Rapada, Youth UPF USA

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