On Friday, November 22, CARP Bay Area held their second “Peace Starts With Me” Campus Event at Chabot College with the message of “Education Empowering Peacemakers.”
The vision for these Campus Events is to offer principled education of heart and character on the campus level and encouraging more faculty, students, and community leaders to stand up for these values. Preparations were made from the beginning of the semester, and CARP members have been anticipating for the day of the event in excitement.
“This topic is especially relevant because we’re in college. We always ask, ‘What do we want to become?’ but not ‘Who do we want to become?’ I think that’s important to discuss.” - Mikuni Tamura, CARP Chabot College
This time, the three hour evening program’s keynote address was delivered by guest speaker, Dr. Mose Durst. The program also included a short presentation by CARP student leader Erika Gordon, various student club performances, remarks from Chabot students and faculty, food, and raffle prizes. Seventy-five people including students, community members, and faculty members attended the event.
The evening commenced with a warm welcome from the two emcees, CARP Chabot President Monica Schlaepfer and Vice President Junta Naito, followed by CARP students doing a lively dance performance to the song “Give Love” by Andy Grammer.
Next, Erika Gordon, from CARP Cal State East Bay, introduced CARP’s perspective on education (based on CARP Curriculum’s “Purpose of Education”) highlighting how the education of heart and character are foundational for the education of career. She also introduced CARP’s co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, affectionately known as the “Mother of Peace”, who initiated the worldwide “Peace Starts With Me” movement and is the source of inspiration to spread this message on college campuses.
Before the keynote address, Chabot College’s Ukulele Club performed two numbers: a mashup of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” and “One Day” by Matisyahu. They played in last semester’s campus event and greatly contributed to creating a festive, uplifting spirit once again.
Dr. Mose Durst, author, educator, and principal of the Principled Academy, a local character education school, delivered the keynote address on “Education Empowering Peacemakers.” From recent studies in Positive Psychology to city infrastructures catered to building relationships, he offered historical and personal insights to the development of education drawing out and liberating the values within every person. He emphasized how every institution shares some responsibility in educating the character of its people.
Dr. Durst encouraged the audience to inherit the Native American Iroquois tribe’s philosophy of considering the next seven generations and long-term impacts in our daily actions to create a sustainable world and relationships. He left the audience with a quote from Confucius: “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.”
Afterwards, attendees had table discussions to share their highlights from the talk
“[Dr. Durst] spoke of the potential for children to be peacemakers through education. It was about coming together and forming our own coalitions for peace and peacemaking. That was such a powerful thought statement … The big takeaway was there is strength in unity and education.” - Mrs. Debra Collins, KCRH 89.9 FM radio station
“Education can empower everyone, that’s why I always encourage my friends and classmates— ‘Dream big and study hard’, because it is a perfect time for college students to plant their future.” - Mrs. Xiaolan Holken, Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) & Ukulele Club President
“My favorite part from Dr. Durst’s talk was when he was talking about forming relationships instead of networking … [W]hen you do meet people, sometimes you start to notice that they try to network and see how their connection with you can be beneficial career and academic wise instead of ‘Hey, this person seems really cool. Let’s see if they want to get lunch or hang out outside of class.’” - Sean Stewart, Chabot Mass Communications student
Following the discussions, student and faculty representatives shared their remarks about CARP and the evening’s message. CARP students, Judith Nyambega and Ismael Cruz, both shared how grateful they were to CARP for creating the space to have meaningful conversations on vital topics and fostering their spiritual growth. Professor Frank Ko, Technology Instructor and Ukulele Club advisor, shared how his values as an educator are reflected in CARP and encouraged the audience to think deeper about education.
“Everyday, I always stop and remind myself how I want to prosper in my education: purposefully, to prepare myself for what awaits me in the near future. After attending the "Peace Starts With Me" seminar, I now feel like I have a clear meaning to what education means to me. This revolves around the truth that 'peace starts with me'. I realize that my journey through education should enable me to create a difference in society and that I shouldn't postpone my abilities that could greatly contribute to a better society. I say this to express gratitude towards Dr. Durst's speech where I got enlightened that education is a tool that should help me activate the good values in me, some of which lay dormant, which I can use not only to better myself, but also those around me. Eventually my hope is to look back in time when I am older and be able to have a bright smile on my face that expresses my contentment in how I positively took part in making the world a better place when I had the chance because truly peace starts with me.” - Judith Nyambega
The remarks were followed by raffle prizes and gifts for the audience to take home. The evening concluded with a moving performance by CARP members singing “Imagine” by John Lennon.
This “Peace Starts With Me” Campus Event gave an opportunity for faculty, students, and community leaders alike to reflect on the purpose of education and its responsibility to raise future leaders to become peacemakers.
Mose Durst is an author, educator, and the former president of the Unification Church of the United States. He received a master’s degree and PhD while studying English Literature at the University of Oregon. He taught at a number of colleges and currently teaches literature and history at the Principled Academy in San Leandro, California. He has published eight books including Principled Education, Shakespeare’s Plays, and Oakland, California: Towards A Sustainable City.