The Words of the Halenke Family
The South African Chapter of PWPA has been surprisingly successful at bringing together both black and white professors to talk about issues of mutual concern to everyone in this volatile country. We also make a big effort to balance the number of liberals and conservatives at each conference. Then, because the scholars are freely allowed to discuss whatever they choose, the combination of views presented helps educate them and at the same time educates us, the staff.
The participants at each PWPA conference adhere to basic ground rules, just as in any academic setting. Even if papers with radically opposing views are presented, the scholars still listen to each other and comment respectfully. The professors who take part are quite encouraged by our policy of freedom of expression, and they feel that PWPA is a place where their views will definitely be heard. Thus, most come away from the conferences with a feeling of accomplishment.
The success of PWPA here is softening the government's initial mistrust about us because they see that we are not taking a hostile stand toward them as so many groups here are doing.
Of course, hanging over all our heads is the incredible pressure from all sides to isolate South Africa from the rest of the international community. Essentially because of this, PWPA has a special value at this time in history, I believe, because it is doing something positive to promote harmony, and it is removing misunderstandings among those who have great influence in the community.
People in academic fields are taking a genuine interest in PWPA's international scope and, of course, in its founder, Rev. Moon. Father's role is always specifically mentioned at all PWPA conferences, so that the scholars' work is on the foundation of that clear understanding. Every year we have made progress and have reached out to more and more people who can help bring change to South Africa in a positive direction. Each year is like a leap forward.