UPF Ohio Recharged for New Beginning
Columbus, OH – February has been a rush of activity with little time for planning too many details. After the December conference in Las Vegas of UPF-USA, the draft of a calendar for potential events lit a flame under me. I notified the small staff of volunteers from last year’s only event in September that I was not stepping down from UPF, but we needed to re-charge and get ready for 2016.
To set the tone, we collaborated with the local FFWPU (UC Columbus) and WFWP (Women’s Federation for World Peace) for a birthday celebration of our founders, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon which was held on February 12th.
The sense of unity of the three organizations translated into a joyful atmosphere shared by over 100 attendees including members and guests. Many commented about feeling of the founder’s love in the event. Afterward, we confirmed to hold another UPF/WFWP event in March for UN International Day of Women and set to work with what little resources we could combine.
In the meantime, I was invited to meet the Executive Director of Community Relations Commission by the new mayor of Columbus. I prepared a written statement introducing UPF and my own personal information together with UPF material. My wife accompanied me to our mid-morning meeting. After reading my statement, we watched a four minute video about UPF followed by an open discussion for about thirty minutes on ways to collaborate. We explained UPF and Ambassador’s for Peace to Director Derek Anderson. After hearing all of it, he invited me to participate in the monthly conference of a peace council that was created by the new mayor and to make a presentation in the new future.
My wife, Mihoko, then presented a marble vase for the new mayor and new administration. She remarked that it represented a “cornerstone” for the city’s new beginning.
The new theme of Mayor Andrew Ginther’s administration is Columbus: “America’s Opportunity City”. He expected to take the vase to the mayor shortly, after the Inaugural State of the City speech held at the mayor’s high school. He gave me an invitation to the speech address before we left. Finally, we gave the director two signed copies of “As a Peace Loving Global Citizen”.
Director Anderson confirmed he would prepare various proclamations for our work as we move forward in 2016 on behalf of the city. He offered to have a representative speak at our March event of UN International Day of Women. He explained briefly about a type of peace council of community representatives from various backgrounds already created by the new mayor that meets on a monthly basis. I was extended an invitation to speak to the group in the near future. By studying the new mayor’s credentials and his character, it will not surprise me if we found a classic style for our very own project.
Reported by: Christopher Fox, UPF Ohio Executive Director