Unification News for September and October 1999
Pure Love ’99 Tour
by Michelle Myers—NYC
The Pure Love Tour kicked off with a rousing speech by Pure Love Alliance Founder Jin Hun Park and board members Robert Kittel and Michael Balcomb. The young volunteers quickly began to create a united spirit and vision for the coming tour. The PLA was also addressed by local church ministers and community educators.
The day began with a restoration and beautification project at the Christ Temple Church and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Family Life Institute in downtown Baltimore. The service project was a new addition to this summer’s program. It was a beneficial way to teach the young participants about the reality of living for the sake of others.
After the service project, the 175 young people marched through the downtown red-light district. Despite jeers and objections from local adult sex-shot owners, the PLA marched on in protest of the industry which shamelessly promotes reckless sexual behavior. Converging on the Inner Harbor, the PLA held the first rally of the Pure Love ’99 Tour.
Guest speakers on hand to support the young people’s commitment and dedication to purity before marriage were Christine Fogle from the Maryland Abstinence and Education Committee, Mrs. Ahmen Said from Parents Against Drugs, and Rev. Willie Wady. Representing the youth of the Nation of Islam, which also upholds the highest standards of purity before marriage, was Mr. Faraji Rasulallah. Also present was Mrs. Patsy Casino, who performed two inspiring songs, adding to the rally spirit.
The service project in Washington DC on Sunday, July 11, was a bit out of the ordinary. The United Planning Organization and the PLA joined efforts to help feed the homeless community in the District through harvesting and gleaning fruits and vegetables from fields just outside DC. The young people had races to see who could fill their sack of zucchini first and drag it across the finish line. After a hard day’s work in the fields, the tour participants cooled off at the local water park and river.
The next morning they were up bright and early to go fundraising and signature-collecting in the downtown area. Each participant had to go out on the streets and explain about the PLA and its message of purity and fidelity and collect signatures for the Pure Love Pledge. At 10:30am sharp the 175 young people converged on Freedom Plaza to begin the march to the White House.
As the young people marched and chanted down Pennsylvania Avenue, the media from the National Press Building swarmed around taking footage, pictures and gathering quotes. At the rally site in Lafayette Park, the PLA was joined on stage with guest speakers from the local community. All veteran participants of PLA rallies, Mr. Phillip Walker of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute, Mrs. Francis Ballard from the Institute for Responsible Fatherhood, and Rev. William Bennett, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dearwood, shared inspiring and supportive words with the young crowd.
The day and the Washington DC area activities concluded with a final service project at Kennedy Memorial Park in North West Washington DC. A representative from Councilman Jack Evans’ office was on hand to present the PLA with a proclamation from the DC City Council for the PLA’s effort to educate and serve the Washington DC community.
The rally in Atlanta took place at Woodruff Park in the heart of downtown. Prior to rallying, each team had to go out street preaching. Almost every corner of the city thundered with the voice o a young PLA member.
Many partner organizations and guests were on hand to perform, speak and support the Pure Love message. Guest performers included the funk band Hybrid, the Still Waters Youth Orchestra, and the Elite Dancers. Special guest speakers included Mr. Tavares Stephens, a local educator and writer, Mr. Danny Buggs, former Washington Redskins long receiver, and a representative of the local Nation of Islam. The rally was covered extensively by the media, and the PLA even brought a presence to the local CNN talk show, Talk Back Live.
The tour arrived rested and ready for several days jam-packed with activities and fun. The area events began with a short rally and march in Florida City on Thursday, July 15. The group protested across from Condom USA, an "adult novelty store" across from a local elementary school. The next day of activities included two rallies and marches. The first was in Miami Beach where Mitsy Aceny and Katsukimi Watanabe of the PLA gave speeches about their commitment to abstinence which rocked the crowd. Later that day the group traveled down to the famous Coco Walk shopping and dining area, where they rallied and marched through the center of the mall as hundreds of people looked on. Jimi Baughman, winner of the Absolute Sex speech contest, gave her speech to the large crowd with all her might.
The Pure Love Alliance also took part in a service project at North Miami Senior High School in conjunction with the Love Your Neighbor service group. The PLA’ers dug trenches for a new sprinkler system, uprooted old trees and planted new ones, and painted and cleaned classrooms. The project really helped beautify the school and prepare it for the upcoming school semester.
The main event in Miami was the rally and march in downtown Miami. The lively march began at the Dade County courthouse and culminated in a high-energy rally at Stephen P. Clark Plaza. The crowd at the rally at times swelled to over 500 people. Speaking to the crowd of young people was State Representative Gustavo Barrerio, who told the PLA that he would do everything in his power to support abstinence education. The program was rounded out with a PLA speech by Sebastian Doroski.
After an exciting and relaxing trip to Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventures Theme Park, the PLA ’99 Tour descended on Florida’s State Capitol Building for our final rally in Florida. Inspiring the crowd and bringing the message of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage were PLA speakers John Prevost from California and Miae Schanker from Washington DC.
Upon arrival in Mobile, Alabama, the tour was greeted with a welcome dinner attended by Alabama Senator and Mrs. George Callahan, the Mobile County commissioner, and Mr. Robert Battles of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Mobile. Though the tour ended in Mobile, the excitement continued with a trip to an alligator farm, rides on high-powered air boats, and a dinner at an historical Southern home. Major service projects were also done in Mobile and Pritchard at local middle and high schools, and at the Mobile County Black History Museum. The main rally took place on Friday, July 23 in downtown Mobile. The march began on Government Street and quickly the sleepy downtown of Mobile was flooded with bright young PLA participants chanting and yelling for purity. Addressing the crowd at the rally were Minister Jamed Muhhammad from the Nation of Islam and State Representative Phil Crigler. Speaking on behalf of the PLA was tour veteran Hank Chin and tour newcomer Jennifer Barry.
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