American Leadership Conference Looks to a Hopeful Future

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The ALC was held on November 14, 2015, by the UPF-Washington, D.C., Office, directed by Tomiko Duggan, under the theme “America at a Turning Point: Principles and Values for Building a Nation of Peace,” which also commemorated the 10th anniversary of UPF.

Excerpts from Mike Ghouse’ speech:

Dr. Mike Ghouse, founder, America Together Foundation (ATF). Dr. Ghouse’s recent book on human rights, Standing Up for Others, was influenced by Rev. Dr. Moon’s lifelong motto “To Live for the Sake of Others.” Many of the problems that exist between ethnic or religious groups are due to a lack of communication, miscommunication or that we learn about each other by listening to third parties and “talking heads.” He spoke about the “Unity Day” programs that his organization hosts to bring together people of all backgrounds and ethnicities and to break down the walls and barriers that tend to divide us. “We are in conflict because we don’t know each other.” He gave the example that if you walk in a neighborhood of ethnic foreigners, you might feel anxious or frightened, yet if just one person greets you, then the tension immediately dissipates. “Better communication is what’s needed. Communication goes both ways. Communication is as much about listening as it is about talking. Don’t be scared to reach out to someone else. Respect the other person, even if they have a different background, language or faith.” All faiths have salutations which encourage a positive message. Hindus: “Namaste,” Jews: “Shalom,” pagans: “Hail to Mother Earth,” Muslims: “Salaam Alaikum,” Christians: “Peace be with you.” “Religion is not the problem,” he said. “It’s how the individual practices that religion. He created each of us to be unique, and therefore He gave us each a unique DNA and wants us each to relate to Him.”

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