The Words of the Ushiroda Family
Interview With Naokimi Ushiroda, 2nd Generation Department Director
Naokimi Ushiroda was matched and Blessed in 2000 by True Father to Shukuko Yono, and currently has one son, Taeshin Ushiroda who is 2 and half years old. He graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2004 with an undergraduate degree in Economics concentrating in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship. He then joined WCARP USA as a full-time worker for 2 and a half years until Feb 13, 2007 when He was appointed as the director of 2nd Gen Department in the US.
YC: Can you speak a little on the Second Generation Departmentís short term goals?
NU: As for short term goals, there are three main things that I wanted to do. First is having the 2nd Gen Dept national tour. Second, is to coordinate what I call the "Unified Summer 2007 Workshop Schedule". And third, is directing a local Jr. STF Candidates Workshop later this summer.
I actually just got back from our national 24 city tour. We traveled over 40 days, city to city to find out about the current situation of 2nd Generation in the local communities. We also had the chance to explain about the new direction for the second Gen department, and the plans for national workshops throughout the summer.
Now, about the Unified Summer 2007 Workshop Schedule. For the past five years or so, the summer has been the most confusing and stressful time, because there were 4 different groups dealing with 2nd Gen education, and each group had a different summer schedule. However, this time we are making a unified plan among the different departments so that we can create a win - win situation among all stakeholders of 2nd Gen education by planning out both national and local workshops so that they donít conflict with each other.
In essence, STF, CARP, Family Federation, and Second Gen. Department are working on this together. This is very significant for this year, because in the past we made the distinctions Ďoh youíre STFí, Ďoh youíre CARPí, Ďoh youíre youth ministryí, and even among Second Generation there has been a lot of divide and judgment.
Our new plan has the heart behind it of bringing everyone together. Weíre all on the same team, same family, and by having every person also work on investing in their local groups, local communities, everyone benefits.
Another very significant point of the unified summer plan is that weíre having the national college age leadership training at the beginning of the summer, so that they can prepare themselves to help staff at all the local High School and middle school workshops happening throughout the country. For teenagers, their number one influence is their peers and elder role models. So, by investing in raising a strong committed group of college-age BCís, they can naturally be a positive influence on their younger brothers and sisters.
There are still a lot of kinks to work out. This is the first time we are trying this but I hope that this will become a pattern year in and year out.
YC: This is really good to share this with the parents because people rarely feel as if progress is taking place on a community level. Progress is never explained so it is not seen. Letís go back to Hyun Jin Nim. How has Hyun Jin Nim said he wants to be involved where your department is concerned?
NU: Okay, case in point: on June 9th, there was the victory celebration for the 50 state tour, and afterwards we had a special address from Hyun Jin Nim to all the youth in our movement, college age and up. Weíve been planning it for a long time and it all came together nicely at the very last moment. It was not actually spontaneous, though it appeared that way. We had more people than we expected there -- 260 people -- I donít think there has ever been this capacity of college aged BCís gathered at the same time in the same place. I thought that this was really significant. Hyun Jin Nim really spoke to everyone and really moved each of us. Almost half of them were already connected to the workshops this summer, and half of them were not. Hyun Jin Nim really encouraged them all to get involved.
YC: What incentive did he give them to participate?
NU: Well, he said he would give them an opportunity to join the upcoming 21 day leadership workshop. Not many responded to that one, but because he really wanted to connect them somehow, he said "okay how about 7 days?" He was kind of negotiating. He wanted somehow to provide education for everyone in this age group. He then turned to Mito San and asked "Mito San, can you make a 7 day for these guys?" and Mito San was like "Yes Sir!" The following day we put together a 7 day workshop to fit within the 21 day for people to attend.
YC: But there is no set plan for how Hyun Jin Nim would like to be involved?
NU: He told everyone at East Garden at the victory celebration on June 9th, that if he had time, he really wants to go around and visit each community. Heís responsible for so many other things world-wide, but I feel like recently heís been very much involved with the leadership of Family Federation and all the different organizations here in America. He explained to me that in the past several years, he has been investing in Korea and Japan because the BCís are older there, and now he wants to invest in America.
YC: What can you tell me about Second Generation Department's plan (in cooperation with other departments) for creating educational resources in America for American UC members?
NU: When it comes to books or manuals, and even curricula, I feel that this is more in the near future rather than right now, because I believe we first have to establish a common educational standard for BCs in America. Iím still in the process of discussing this with many educators. However, I hope to have something ready to share by the end of 2007, and we can develop materials to spread this nation-wide in the year of 2008.
YC: On an issue that has always been a side issue, is there any plan to teach Korean in America rather than having the options limited to going to GOP in Korea or to Sun Moon University?
NU: We do have the Korean language educational CDís that the Second Gen. Department made available for us as a resource. Besides that, I donít know right now.
YC: You are working with Mr. T. Sakuwa and In Guk Seo. I heard Mr. Sakuwa was leaving Second Gen. Department.
NU: He said that at the end of the summer he was going to transfer to the international Second Gen Department. Jin Soo Kim is the director. Their office is in Ossining. Itís not a new department but it may be a recent development. They coordinate between each of the Second Gen Departments worldwide.
YC: So it will just be you and In Guk Seo then?
NU: Well, yeah. Hopefully, we can gain a few more staff.
YC: Any thoughts on bringing on sisters to the department or is that not possible because they all have families?
NU: Itís possible if they live locally. As for human resources, it really depends on my connections with CARP. Actually, many people are asking me why I am still so much involved with CARP activities. I wanted to clarify that itís all part of a cooperative strategy to be able to effectively reach out to as many BCs as possible.
Right now, the best organized network that exists for Second Gen is CARP. There are 14 CARP district representatives that were recently appointed to become counterparts to Family Federation District Directors in each district.
Through these reps, weíve been able to connect many of the college aged students that are in each of the local areas. CARP is currently the best educational source for college-aged second generation. Naturally, the best pool to look for and appoint local 2nd Gen representatives would be through CARP. Iíve already discussed this with Rev. Mito. Of course this may change in the future based on developing a stronger foundation in the 2nd Gen Dept.
YC: How will you address the issue within your department, of having a staff member whom Blessed Children can relate to and want to speak to for guidance and advice. Here Iím referring mainly to BCís who have issues they are facing that do not fall within the UC lifestyle.
NU: I think itís about building a stronger core base and expanding broader. What I mean by that is, without a central group to work with, itís really hard to connect everyone else. Thatís what we are working on right now. This summer is the first time we offered a 12 day general workshop on a national level, that was open to broader participation. Most of the participants were already connected with the church but as we go forward, we want to reach a broader audience.
The main point though is we need to start with a strong faith base. Because in the end, whoís going to pull them in? It has to be someone who already has a strong faith base. We need to raise enough people who are mature enough and will have enough love to be able to reach out to them.
YC: What about the issue of life experience? People with a strong faith base donít necessarily have the life experiences that some BCís have had and so there is no foundation on which to relate, to empathize and understand. BCís who are not really connected with the church would rather reach out to their non-UC friends for guidance. Honestly, if you said to those BCís out there what you said to me about faith base and love-love-love, they would walk away. So how would your plan work?
NU: There are many people I know who have been out in the world and have recently come to appreciate and recognize the value of their own faith. On the other hand, there are those who have always been faithful, who I feel need more experience out in society. We need a balance of both because ultimately itís not even about just helping Second Generation gain their own faith, but itís about reaching out to the world.
The kind of education and leadership that we want to build is not one that is isolated or naïve, but one that understands what is really necessary to influence the world. I believe we need to cultivate both faith and ability. And the foundation of all education for 2nd generation is really about understanding our identity.
What does it really mean to be a Blessed Child? I think thatís the question that needs to be addressed. Up till now, itís been pretty vague, more like a feeling of fitting in, or an ideological concept of being Godís children who have no original sin. But what does it really mean to be a Blessed Child? I intend to make it as clear as possible.
YC: There is word that the Second Gen. Department will change its name to become the Sung Hwa Department?
NU: Yes. Itís already changed for the 2nd Gen departments in Japan and Korea. As for America, we have until September 2007 to decide on the name change. Sung Hwa is the original term that Father used for the youth of our movement. Hwa means harmony and Sung means accomplishment. I think together it means something like, "individual perfection of maturity". One of the main reasons for this change is to include all the youth of our movement, 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, as well as young 1st generation.
I feel a lot of hope working in this new era, especially in this year of 2007. For whatever reason this is -- maybe itís due to this being the Jubilee year, maybe itís many different things, whatever it is, I just feel that from this year on, we will be growing and moving at a much faster pace than before. I feel hope for the future and as we work together more and more we will be able to provide the best education for our youth and prepare them well to reach out to this nation and the world.