Unification News for April 2005

World CARP - Inter-Religious International Student Peace Council Peace Initiative 2005

by Caroline Chen

On April 13th, 2005 the Inter-Religious International Student Peace Council held an event highlighting the works of the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP). The event was held in the African -American Cultural Center on University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Guests signed in and were directed towards the meeting room where they could enjoy refreshments and drinks paid for by the African-American Cultural Center.

The program was held from 5 to 6:30 pm with the master of ceremonies, Caroline Chen, starting the program by introducing the two head officers of the club, Artie Shau, President and Kenji T., Vice President. Each spoke on the topic of diversity, stating that the campus of U.I.C., although it is diverse, is splintered. Students are staying in the comfort zone of their own race or nationality and not really appreciating the myriad of cultures on campus. Shau went on to say that the goal of this club is to embrace the differences between students, and work together to make this dream of world peace a reality. Kenji spoke about the event itself, its beginnings and how it came about, thanking Professor Phillip Royster and Professor Rebecca Gordon for their advice and support.

The program was then returned to Chen who gave a few opening remarks and shared her reasons for holding this event. She expressed that the reality of the student body is that they do not have a clear knowledge of other country's situations. As Americans we are unaware of the world around us, the evening news is more concerned with murders and high speed chases as opposed to global issues. She expressed her gratitude towards the WFWP for being an organization that is not only raising global awareness but is also taking action to make a difference in other people's lives all around the world. With that, the main speaker, the president of the Chicago chapter of the WFWP, Mrs. Kathleen Sometani was introduced.

Mrs. Sometani gave a beautiful presentation on her trip to Guinea Bissau, West Africa and spoke about the sacrificial heart of the people she met there. Even though these people had nothing, they worked so hard to make sure she was comfortable and received the best they could offer during her stay. Her presentation included a slide show of pictures from her trip and the audience could get a feel of the living situation of the Guineans. She also spoke the subject of peace in the Middle East. The WFWP is starting a petition for peace in the Middle East; their goal is to gather one million signatures of support. She also spoke about many other activities that the WFWP has done and another WFWP member, Mrs. Margaret Figueroa spoke about the Israel Pilgrimage, which she attended recently. In conclusion, Mrs. Sometani stated that the IISPC is an important group to have on a college campus and the WFWP would like to support any and all efforts of this club. The program was a success and a meaningful learning experience for all who attended.

Special thanks to the African-American Cultural Center, especially Professor Royster for all of your advice and support. We would also like to thank the Office of Women's Affairs, especially Professor Rebecca Gordon for your encouragement and hard work.

*Inter-Religious International Student Peace Council was formed on March 2004. It was initiated by Artie Shau and Kenji T. and formed together with Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Catholic, and Buddhist students at UIC.

Shau and Kenji are both UIC CARP members. Along with them, Danichi Yoshida, another UIC CARP member and student, and STF Chicago members helped in preparation of the event.

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