Articles From the April 1994 Unification News


Mother Speaks to DC Students

by Marty Moran-Washington, D.C.

Professor Sulayman Nyang, head of African studies at Howard University, summarized well the spirit of Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon's two recent speeches in the Washington area.

To close the March 17 Howard speech, which drew 1,100 people to Blackburn Center Ballroom, Dr. Nyang said that despite the challenges of the theological message of the Moon family, they always brought people together in ways no one else could.

At Howard University, for example, the mostly black student body came to hear the Korean founders of a new religion, welcomed by the president of the Unification Church in America, Dr. James Baughman, a native of Kansas.

A former black D.C. delegate, the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, introduced Mrs. Moon's address, and the well-known Virginia pastor, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, was in the audience.

Besides religion, basketball was building some of this unity. Mr. Falwell was in town to follow Liberty Baptist University's bid for the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball championship-a contest that included the Howard team also.

The coming together of diverse people was almost as great at the University of Maryland, where seven days earlier Mrs. Moon spoke to a gathering of 1,300 people at the on-campus Tawes Theater.

The three student winners of the study grant raffle drawing-$1,000 for each winner-were of three different races.

In addition to the striking music programs at each of Mrs. Moon's two talks-ranging from a gospel group (Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory!) to a multi-racial rock band and a male-voice duet with folk guitar-the campus press coverage was also notable.

At the University of Maryland, the Diamondback newspaper ran its day- of-the-speech article saying, "Moonies have been camping out" on campus and "accosting" passersby. However, the tone became far more objective in the day-after story.

The headline, "Moon brings a `message of love'," was followed by reports of a "near-full capacity," "live, easy-listening music," and this comment of one freshman elementary education major:

"I liked her speech," she told the Diamondback. "I agree that we should unite and that the only way is through the family. We must better ourselves."

According to the news reports, many students said that the church activity was the talk of many classrooms that week.

A unique development at the Howard University event was the number of professors who allowed Unificationists to address their classes before the talk.

Some professors even made attending the speech a class assignment. More than a few students were seen diligently taking notes during Mrs. Moon's talk, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age." "There has been an ongoing CARP and campus ministry recognition," said the Rev. Peter Fleischmann of the Unification Campus Ministry. "That is really what brought a lot of people."

A good amount of pavement pounding also drew the large attendance. Many Unificationists, some living in neighborhoods not far from the urban Howard University, visited nearby high schools as well.

At McKinley High School, the Unificationist visitors witnessed the metal detectors now present at urban schools facing problems of violence.

"When we passed through the metal detector at the front door, the signal bell failed to sound," our church members said. "He [the principal] had us pass through again and again and no sound came. He said, `My, you are beautiful people'."

And then he agreed to announce the speech to the teachers.

At the University of Maryland, some church members said the outreach reminded them of earlier campaign days. Those were times of constant protesters, they said.

This time, a campus club, Students Educating Against Mind Control, had a small voice in the campus newspaper. At the event, two very small groups-one Christian and one Jewish-handed out flyers. The flyer "Jews for Judaism," for example, listed a litany of old anti-cult rhetoric.

The Unificationist reply: "What's the Problem?" said a Unificationists for Multi-Cultural Tolerance pamphlet. "Mrs. Moon is a woman of peace who teaches love for God and one's fellow human beings. She preaches respect and tolerance for all religions."

As is increasingly done in the campaigns, church members tried to educate the public and the student newspapers that "Moonies"-unless used affectionately-is not an acceptable term anymore. It can be "a dehumanizing hate word," one church handout said. Accordingly, the Diamondback's second article only used the term "Moonie" once, and that was to make this point.

The Howard University newspaper, The Hilltop, was very objective in its coverage of Mrs. Moon's speech, many readers said.

Thelma Ware, a veteran supervisor in a federal agency and head of the D.C. chapter of the Women's Federation for World Peace, was quoted in the Hilltop.

"The Women's Federation promotes love in the community with programs such as Free Teens, which teaches abstinence from sex, and promotes positive thinking in young people," Mrs. Ware said.

The newspaper noted that Mrs. Moon received letters of recognition from D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

At the Howard speech, Kanika Magee, coordinator of the Undergraduate Student Assembly, welcomed Mrs. Moon and the audience, the newspaper reported.

And then Mrs. Moon had a direct message for the young African- Americans, all of whom aspired to learn and succeed.

"As leading students, you possess the responsibility of guiding this nation into the next millennium," Mrs. Moon said. "The promise of a peaceful and prosperous future depends directly upon the collective actions we take today."


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