In January, WFWP Maryland chapter participated in the annual City of College Park Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was co-sponsored by the City of College Park, the City of College Park MLK Tribute Committee, the University of Maryland, and the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission.
WFWP’s participation in the event began when Maryland chapter members Ms. Dottie Chicquelo (who is also a member of the Organizing Committee for the College Park MLK Tribute) and Mrs. Emiko Butler worked to get WFWP invited as a participant on the “MLK Tribute” program. From that point, Emiko served as liaison between our Maryland chapter and the Organizing Committee of the MLK Tribute. She organized the participation of the Sakura Choir. Additional members of our Maryland chapter joyfully volunteered to become singers, thus enlarging the choir. Week after week (from November of 2017) we practiced and prepared, led by Mrs. Miwako Lindsey.
At last the performance date arrived: Saturday, January 13, 2018. Approximately 450 people filled the 625-seat Kay Theatre of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. Our contribution to the program began with Pauline Eby, chairwoman of the Maryland chapter of WFWP, providing a brief introduction of WFWP and its founders, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her husband, Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Then we sang (in English) “Wings to Fly” (a Japanese folk song) and “My Tribute” (a gospel song by Andraé Crouch).
After the event, people in the audience expressed their appreciation and provided favorable feedback. One person commented that he strongly felt that our offering had established an uplifting and positive tone for the keynote speaker (Jennifer B. Jones) who directly followed us.
WFWP, its founders, and the Sakura Choir were described in print on the event’s official “We Live Together or Perish” program: “Joining us for the very first time are the Women’s Federation for World Peace and the Sakura Choir. The Women’s Federation for World Peace is an international organization founded in 1992 by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon. WFWP works to empower women through knowledge, skills and supportive community to discover their unique value and to bring lasting peace. WFWP envisions women working together to create a culture of heart in families, communities, nations and the world. Formed in 2016, the Sakura Choir is a Japanese choir singing Christian and other songs to move people’s hearts.”
All in all, our multi-generational, multi-cultural preparation and participation nurtured and heightened the reality of being one family. We look forward to representing WFWP in this way again next year and, hopefully, on many other occasions as well.
Please enjoy these videos of WFWP and the Sakura choir performing their songs at the MLK, Jr. Tribute Event: