As part of the worldwide celebration of the annual International Day of Peace on September 21, a crowd of some 50 people gathered at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C, to attend a "Peace Summit" sponsored by the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative.
It was a strongly Afrocentric event, although people of other ethnicities were also in attendance, filled with music, spirituality, embracing love, and sharing of wisdom on the topic of making peace a reality. It ended with the presentation of nine Peacemaker Awards, one of which was bestowed on WFWP USA President Angelika Selle, who was also the keynote speaker at the event. She has been President and WFWPI Vice-President since 2010. In 2004, she received the Crown of Peace Award from the Interreligious and International Peace Council at the Senate Dirksen Building in Washington, DC for exemplary Leadership in Reconciliation and Peacemaking.
The leader of the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative for Washington, D.C., Mrs. Abena Disroe, organized the event. She had become a Bridge of Peace "sister" with Mrs. Selle in a WFWP event a few months ago. Affectionately called The High Priestess of Poetry, Abena Disroe is a Spoken Word Artist, Playwright, Radio Broadcaster, Conflict Revolutionist, Leadership Development Trainer, Children’s Storyteller, Asset Mapping Specialist, Restorative Justice Worker, Community Activist, Gardener, Healer of People and Communities, and much more.
A central part of the program focused on six consciousness-raising phrases that Mrs. Disroe had written on separate pieces of paper, which she distributed among the audience and then asked each recipient to come forward and share their insights on the phrase.
The phrases are:
- I AM - The Power of Self-Knowledge
- I THINK - The Power to Investigate
- I KNOW - The Power to Master Facts
- I FEEL - The Power to Appreciate, to Value, and to Love
- I OUGHT - The Power of Conscience, the Moral Imperative
- I SERVE - The Power to Be Useful, Devotion to a Cause
The six speakers shared deep life wisdom and inspiration, all of which was integrally connected to making peace a reality, starting from the individual.
A certified "breathologist" then took the stage to lead the participants in a deeply satisfying and revitalizing meditation. Everyone experienced profound peace when she introduced and executed her "Healing Breath" exercises with all present.
"PEACE STARTS WITH ME" was the topic of the keynote speaker. As Mrs. Selle took the podium, she noted that all that had been previously shared was pretty much the content of her speech. So she went on to speak from her heart as having been a peacemaker herself in many different settings, the challenges thereof, the effort it takes, and the lessons she learned to overcome even racial issues, and turn pain into purpose. Her words resonated deeply with the audience, many of whom had been involved as youths in the civil rights movement.
Mrs. Selle was also one of the recipients of the Peacemaker Award, which was given to eight other men and women who had been instrumental in consistent peacemaking and bringing love, healing, and reconciliation in their communities and their field of expertise.
Based on her keynote speech, Mrs. Selle was invited to make the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative a part of WFWP's work.