The Words of the Little Family

University of Bridgeport - Campus Global Peace Festival 2008

Jay Alexander H. Little
November 21, 2008

Inspired by the highly successful Global Peace Festival USA, held in August 2008 at the nation's capitol, Washington D.C., the University of Bridgeport's CARP chapter, lead by Hiroshi Takarada, gathered all willing student organizations and clubs to join the cause and put together their own Global Peace Festival right on campus!

A handful of students and representatives of local groups came together each week to plan and organize the beginning of an annual celebration towards inter-religious and inter-cultural cooperation in Connecticut. Among the groups involved were CARP, Service for Peace, Youth for Human Rights International, International Awareness Club, Indian Club, Himalayan Club, and Students for a Free Tibet.

The event began on a bright Friday afternoon in the Student Center, where diverse UB students of all different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds gathered. Attracted by the powerful Gospel Singers, Tyrone and Sean, students were drawn into the event hall and settled themselves in for a great experience.

Liz Hempowicz gave a moving introduction and presented an inspiring video featuring the vision of the Global Peace Festival and the people who are sharing the vision worldwide; the vision of One Family Under God!

The main speaker Sophia Kirkley, Vice President of CARP USA, eloquently delivered the motivation behind the movement and encouraged all to get involved. She declared, "human rights cannot be given from an institution but is really granted to us by our Creator, as it says beautifully in our Declaration of Independence. That is why it is so significant that people of faith come together to uphold human rights."

The audience was awed by a traditional Indian dance by Somi. And later blown away by the impeccable baritone Su Cheon, a UB student, who sang "You Raise Me Up."

While enjoying the performances, the audience took advantage of the display tables in the hall. Besides a delicious array of finger foods, students browsed the beautifully-crafted African jewelry and clothing being sold by Service for Peace, learned about the 30 human rights granted them by Universal Declaration of Human Rights booklet, supplied by Youth for Human Rights International, and got their faces painted at the free booth. Many students also participated in a fun raffle for a brand new iPod!

The exciting, yet brief program concluded with music performances by Abe Deshotel, Esther Teo, and Lucas Tecun who sang "Together We Can Change the World", as well as the bands Fugue and Black and Blues Quartet.

All and all, the success of the UB campus Global Peace Festival was due, mainly in part by the incredible collaboration of all who contributed. The organizers pulled together a great event, inspiring others to join the cause and certainly amassed a fantastic team, dedicated to orchestrating an even bigger and better Peace Festival in the Spring Semester 2009! 

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