Angelika Selle, born in Pforzheim, Germany, studied at the University of Freiburg in Catholic Theology, in German and English. In the years following she travelled to Japan, Korea and America. She settled in the U.S. in 1983 with her American husband, Bob Selle. Together they are the parents of 4 wonderful children. She has worked with Government officials, held the position of the editor in chief of two magazines, “Neue Hoffnung” and “Today’s World”, and she taught at a parochial elementary school. Rev. Selle’s true passion and calling is to be a reconciler and peace-maker to promote reconciliation and healing between different races, religions, and cultures. Together with her husband and another family, they founded a reconciliation group in MD. In 2001 she founded the Prayer in Action Ministry and in 2003 the Interfaith Prayer and Fellowship Ministry in Washington DC. On April 8, 2005 she was ordained at the Lively Stone Worship Center under “God’s Vision International Ministries” by Apostle Floyd Nelson. In 2006, Rev. Selle was appointed to be the Pastor of New Hope Family Church in Landover Hills, MD. Earlier this year, on March 21, 2010, Rev. Selle was appointed by the Founder of WFWP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, to be the President of Women’s Federation for World Peace USA and Vice-President of WFWP International.
WFWP USA and WFWP International hosted a big celebration of the 25th Anniversary that took place on March 17th, 2017, with about 120 guests from the US and abroad. Our emcee, Katarina Connery, Vice President of WFWP USA, opened the program with her youthful and genuine spirit and briefly introduced the purpose of the evening, which was two-fold: to honor all international volunteers of the first 25 years of WFWP and then CELEBRATE!
WFWP USA President Angelika Selle shared a brief word of warm welcome, and recognized the international delegations, former and current leaders present from the United States, and the male representatives in the room.
International President Yeon Ah Moon then gave her special remarks thanking especially all men present for their support. She shared that “WFWP cannot fulfill our true role and mission without the help of our men, brothers, husbands and sons.” She thanked the many volunteers who made WFWP successful over the last 25 years and wished all well for the next quarter of a century to be even more successful.
A very moving video was shown depicting all volunteers worldwide who had received an award. The categories included outstanding long term service, outstanding financial contribution to the work of WFWP, and outstanding long term service from those who have passed away. Mrs. Carolyn Handschin, UN Secretary General of the UN office in Geneva and IVP of Europe, called all awardees by name, and thanked all volunteers in the room for their contribution.
We were very happy and proud that one of our awardees from the US was present, Mrs. Denneze Nelson, chairwoman for the state of New Jersey. She and Mrs. Friederike Buczyk from the WFWP UN team came on stage to receive their awards. The other awardees from the US included Sheri Rueter, who received a special plaque to honor her many years of service and investment, Linda Marshall Perry who was instrumental for acquiring the General Consultative Status at the UN, and Mr. Dan Bankus who truly supports the work of women at this time.
The dance floor didn’t seem big enough to hold what then followed: Dancing, moves, singing and joyful expression lead by Mr. Luke Higuchi who pulled almost everyone in the room on the dance floor and engaged them into line dancing. Apple Heaven USA provided just the right music, ambiance and backdrop to this very joyful occasion, concluding 25 years of amazing work of women, and opening up the next chapter of WFWP.
This year’s annual CSW61 (Commission on the Status of Women) event was indeed very special in that WFWP International also celebrated our 25th Anniversary (founded in 1992) and the 20th Anniversary of our General Consultative Status as an NGO at the UN!
The week from March 12- 19, therefore, was chock full of programs, events, activities, and also meetings. We were especially grateful and blessed to have our WFWP International President, Professor Yeon Ah Choi Moon present with us during that entire week!
The events were put together mostly by the WFWP UN office and team under the leadership of Mrs. Alexa Ward, in collaboration with WFWP USA national headquarters and local chapters and chairwomen in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area.
The main events were also greatly supported by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Director (now International Vice-President) of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), and Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of FFWPU USA and the Family Federation media team as well as the Apple Heaven USA band.
Altogether there were eight public events and about seven additional WFWP meetings and gatherings with Professor Choi Moon, and the International Vice Presidents (IVPs) as well as national leaders from abroad, to discuss internal matters, strategy, and planning for vision 2020.
All programs and events were attended well, were rich in content, and provided opportunities for young women to be educated and exposed to the UN and WFWP International History and current vision and mission.
Sunday, March 12: Consultation Day – Opening Day of all CSW events: “Women’s’ Rights and Gender Equity in the Changing World of Work”
Angelika Selle attended these very enlightening opening sessions with the chair of the NGO Committee Susan O’Malley opening the events at the Hunter College with about 400 women present. This year, for the first time since its inception, more than 8,000 women came to New York, and more than 1,100 organizations signed up to participate and have programs.
Right after the welcoming remarks a volunteer ensemble, United Nations Singers, sang four songs from different countries in the original language, truly setting the stage for international harmony. Two engaging panel discussions followed that set the tone for the topic; all interspersed with poetry and more songs. Together, this created the atmosphere and readied our mindset for the upcoming two-week marathon sessions in and around the UN. The special performer of the day was the Harlem Diva, LeeOlive Tucker, a singer from the Civil Rights Movement that I met personally after the performance.
I also attended a breakout session on Sex Trafficking, Child Labor in Africa and Forced Labor of Women. There, we met women from organizations addressing and battling with this insidious issue that no one seems to have gotten a handle on so far. For the first time the question was asked: What does it take to change mindsets and heart sets, for these serious problems to be resolved for good?
Monday, March 13: WFWPI Parallel event – “Women Fostering Peace and Co-prosperity: Intergenerational Collaboration Sans Arrogance” at Assembly Hall, Community Church of New York
This year’s panel consisted of both younger and older women, who shared their personal experience honestly in response to questions posed by the emcee, Ms Roudabeth Jamshid Eini. Questions included balancing work and career, how to relate with older and younger generations, and much more.
This year again, for the third time in a row, Dr. Bishop Gonzales’ Macademy Middle School students participated in the event to learn from the discussion and be exposed to this kind of setting. WFWP USA also invited friends and guests from the New York, New Jersey area as well as guests from other parts of the country.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017: Big SNOW BLIZZARD in New York and surrounding areas.
All CSW events were cancelled on that day as well as the special first time WFWPI “Meet and Greet” Open Event for networking and relaxation which had been planned at 43rd Street. I spent the entire day with our guests and colleagues from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago; discussing and sharing about WFWP more in depth, the WFWP Founders, vision in action, the goals for 2020, and so much more. It became an educational and informational personal seminar for the ladies who were able to understand WFWP more in depth as a result.
Wednesday, March 13: WFWPI 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Diplomat Ballroom at the ONE UN New York Hotel located across the street from the UN.
It was significant to celebrate this occasion with representatives of the UN, close associates, and friends of WFWP; most of the international vice-presidents as well as some of the early pioneers of WFWP. It was rather significant to hold this kind of occasion at this location, since WFWP International in a way represents nations working together in unity.
Three Global Women’s Peace Awards were given to Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Dr. Rima Salah, and the Nation of Japan, whose members were the very first pioneers worldwide to make the foundation for WFWP. Also, President Yeon Ah Moon received a special award from Founder and President of Active Intervention of Mothers, Inc., Amalle Daou. The award was for the organization’s 2017 Best Contribution to Women’s Empowerment.
Thursday, March 14, 2017: Evening session for young women, Strategic Planning and Peace Studies as an Academic Discipline by Dr. Thomas Ward
WFWP USA invited 10-15 young women from the local area who attended and were very pleased with the information given.
That evening, the news arrived of the sudden passing of two wonderful WFWP women leaders in Thailand and also Taiwan, who had faithfully invested themselves over many years for WFWP. President Yeon Ah Moon immediately called for a special spiritual reading followed by testimonies anda prayer circle for the sisters to surround them with love and comfort at their time of transition. We all felt the seriousness of that moment and for the work of empowering women worldwide.
Friday, March 17, 2017: Special WFWP USA Meeting with Pr. Yeon Ah Moon
Despite her grueling schedule, Pres. Yeon Ah Moon asked to meet with WFWP members and volunteers of WFWP USA from the area. In spite of the short notice, close to 20 women gathered to hear straight from her heart, the heart of Mother Moon, and guidance for this current time. Pres. Moon gave a special gift of a high- class pen to the ladies to say thank you for their great efforts.
Saturday, March 18: Horizon Summit at East Garden
This one day seminar provided an opportunity especially for young women to receive inspiration and education on WFWP, and how WFWP works in the UN as an NGO.
Mrs. Angelika Selle, WFWP USA President emceed for the day, opened up the morning by welcoming all women and sharing what inspires her to work with and for WFWP: Vision, Mission, Philosophy and Founders. She interjected many personal anecdotes and stories to show how WFWP puts the vision into practice.
Dr. Rima Sala then spoke on her experience in working at the UN for the last few decades; followed by a more intimate setting with the young women in a circle, encouraged to ask any kind of question.
Mrs. Karen Smith, long time former member of WFWP (for 20 years) elaborated on how to best work within the system of the UN while using a more “feminine” approach and how to get results. It seemed like a good marriage of putting the vision of WFWP into action at and with the UN.
After a delicious Korean lunch, Dr. Thomas Ward surprised most all with a very intricate group exercise to understand and own the reality of negotiating oil prices between two enemy countries such as Iraq and Iran. It brought to everyone the important lesson of seeking mutual prosperity and trying to satisfy each party’s interests rather than stubbornly holding on to your own position. It was very insightful and entertaining.
All participants had the opportunity to then take a tour of the East Garden, the former residence of the Founders, Dr. and Mrs. Moon. It is always a very uplifting experience to spend time in their residence, which is filled with a clear and beautiful spirit: “leaving all concerns and worries outside the door,” as the calligraphy sign says at the entrance of the house.
Sunday, March 19, 2017: Horizon Summit- Educational Tour
Those who were able to stay for one more day, were in for a special retreat to go on a field trip to visit the FDR home and tour of the museum. Through a special lecture they learned about the contributions of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to the founding of the UN, had a great lunch and toured the Val-Kill historic site, where the former first lady had spent the latter years of her life.
If I had to summarize in a few bullet points or paragraph my experience during a 10-day marathon of empowering, inspiring events related to our Co-Founders' birthdays, this is what I would say:
It is time to ignite a new culture, a culture of heart, peace, joy, innocence, and creativity as leaders -- young and older, men and women -- using our expertise and knowledge to create that culture together.
On the occasion of her 74th birthday and her late husband's 97th, the woman of action who is Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon not only celebrated her birthday with 25,000 people, dignitaries, and youth from around the world but also demonstrated her capable leadership as a woman who operates from a mother's heart, giving to others for the sake of all humanity.
Dr. Moon was personally involved in the planning and execution of eight huge, stellar events, ranging from the World Peace Summit of Parliamentarians for Peace to launching and relaunching relevant organizations, especially in the area of sciences and the arts, all for the sake of making world peace a reality -- with the highlight event being the awarding of the annual SunHak Peace Prize to two utterly outstanding recipients.
She encouraged the various audiences she addressed to be leaders who lead with the heart of a mother, a more feminine style of leadership based on "soft power" and leadership of the heart, and who guide the people they are responsible for and truly care for through their own examples and lifestyle of living for the sake of others.
Dr. Moon believes that the sciences and the arts should be used to create a positive environment for peace, and that knowledge should be used to solve the many problems and ills of the world, creating a culture of what she calls "Hyo Jung" (Korean for "the filial heart of a child") -- in other words, a culture of innocence, authenticity, genuineness, and goodness without any shadows.
We all were able to experience that heart and culture, especially during her birthday celebration, when she had her and her late husband's favorite foods prepared in lunch boxes that each of the 20,000 people present received, along with a personal letter from Dr. Moon (please read). Then she ate together with the great assemblage.
As the leader ultimately responsible for everything at the festivities, Dr. Moon personally invested herself in all the events and programs, such as the World Summit, the SunHak Peace Prize award ceremony, the relaunching of the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences and the Professors World Peace Academy (two organizations founded by her husband decades ago), and also the launching of several entirely new organizations, such as the International Hyo Jung Cultural Center and the Hyo Jung Academic Center.
In it and through it all, her motherly heart and touch was seen and profoundly felt, as she also used the opportunity to address several audiences in person, giving it her all. She modeled leadership through example by launching the new projects and reviving old ones, all of which are intended to work to bring to fruition and substantiation the vision her late husband had set out to accomplish some five decades ago. He invested every moment of his life and every ounce of energy to inspire others to become shining rays of hope around the world with a filial heart toward Heaven and exemplary citizens of peace.
Women's Federation for World Peace International also engaged in several meetings and discussions with our international president, Dr. Yeon Ah Moon; with WFWP International vice presidents from around the world; and with our Korean chapter leaders, with whom several smaller nations created sisterhood partnerships to synergize their efforts and resources in order to grow and develop in their countries.
Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon's example of simple elegance, depth of heart, prayer, and hard work inspired women and men during these 10-plus days to double and triple our efforts to be shining rays of hope in a troubled world. What a way to celebrate a birthday!!