Prepared by FFWPU USA
Peace Starts With Me is on the faces of hundreds of people in New York and New Jersey after several young Unificationists gave away ‘Peace Starts With Me’ masks on the street on July 30.
“We are spreading the message of world peace, especially during this time,” said Andak Morris, who led a group of volunteers handing out free masks in Newark, New Jersey. “We wanted to help people by giving them a mask with a positive message during this pandemic.”
Peace Starts With Me, which was founded in 2017 by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, affectionately known as the Mother of Peace, is an international peace movement bringing together people of all backgrounds to transcend ideological boundaries and religious affiliations. “The masks are a relevant way to spread this hopeful message that each one of us has the power to make a difference and bring peace to the world,” said Tomomi Fukuda, who organized the service project giveaway and led another group of volunteers in Harlem. “It’s also an amazing way to connect with the community.”
The masks were immediately a hit with many people stopping to get one. “This was my first time doing a giveaway like this and I was shocked to see such a great response from all the people coming up to us for masks,” said Junghae Joo, a volunteer in Newark. “We had several bags containing about 50 masks each and ran out very quickly.”
“We’ve all seen what has been happening in the news for the past few months,” added Morris. “I think giving people these masks gets them thinking about peace and longing for it; and also thinking about what they can do on a personal level.”
The mask giveaway precedes the first-ever Peace Starts With Me: The Reconciliation of All People Virtual Rally happening August 1 on multiple social platforms. Bishop Noel Jones of City of Refuge megachurch in Los Angeles will be giving the keynote address, joining rally host and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA President Rev. Demian Dunkley, and gospel artist Hezekiah Walker, among many others.
“We’re bringing awareness to this very important message of peace,” said Fukuda. “Many people asked about the slogan on the masks and wanted to know more, so we invited them to join the virtual rally.”