The 2012 Global Peace Convention in Atlanta concluded on December 1 with a gala banquet honoring leaders in the fields of government, academia, service, faith, and philanthropy. Master of Ceremonies Michael Marshall, the Global Peace Foundation’s (GPF) Director of Communications, said that GPF’s Global Peace Awards “underscore the importance of moral and innovative leadership, an ethic of public service, and a willingness to transcend boundaries of religion, ethnicity, culture and nationality in advancing the ideal of One Family under God.” Challenging conditions that limit human potential and social development, he said, “award winners demonstrate lives of integrity and a sustained commitment to realizing a world of peace.”
In a welcoming statement, Global Peace Foundation, Founder and Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon said that the efforts of the award winners across many disciplines “recognize implicitly that peace and prosperity for some is not a sufficient goal. You have given substance through many years of selfless dedication to our shared vision to realize One Family under God.”
Interfaith Leadership Award
Evangelist, author and Co-Chair of the Coalition for American Renewal Dr. Robert A. Schuller introduced the winner of the 2012 Interfaith Leadership Award, Dr. Bishop Manoel Ferreira, who was recognized for outstanding leadership advancing interfaith collaboration, humanitarian service, and peace through the decades of pastoral work.
Bishop Ferreira is head pastor of the National Convention of the Assemblies of God in Brazil, the highest representative body of evangelical leaders from Brazil and Latin America, with more than 20,000 affiliated pastors. He previously served as president and chair of numerous Assemblies of God churches and as a lecturer in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States.
Bishop Ferreira has established dozens of Evangelical communities and coordinates dozens of social institutions in Brazil which provide medical, educational, and social support for recovering addicts, the elderly, and street children. Recognized for his leadership in Brazil, he was elected in 2006 to Brazil’s National Congress, where he is an advocate for the environment, the family, and the underprivileged. The recipient of numerous awards for his service to his country and people, Bishop Ferreira was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Leadership in Strengthening Families Award
The Leadership in Strengthening Families Award, presented to an individual or nongovernmental organization for sustained efforts to advance the welfare of the family as the primary social institution and for supporting responsible parenting, strong marriages, and a healthy and nurturing environment for children, was presented by Dr. Eva Latham, President of Human Rights Teaching International, in the Netherlands, to Dr. Jeffery M. Johnson, President and CEO of the National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL).
Dr. Johnson played in integral role in the planning and implementation of two of the nation’s largest social welfare research projects involving low-income men. They are the Partners for Fragile Families Site Demonstration, and the Fathers at Work Demonstration. These projects have served more than 6000 men. Since 1997, Dr. Johnson and NPCL have also convened an annual international fatherhood conference that attracts cumulatively several thousands of community-based and family practitioners from around the world. Also, under Dr. Johnson’s leadership NPCL managed the National Youth Development Practitioners Institute on behalf of the United States Department of Labor, the Ford Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award
In the field of Service, Dr. Douglas Johnston, President, International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, presented the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award to Tri Mumpuni, the founder and Executive Director of People Centered Business and Economic Institute (IBEKA) based in Bandung, Indonesia. The award is conferred on an individual whose efforts have resulted in sustainable progress in areas of health care, poverty reduction, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, education and other areas of social impact.
Tri Puni and her team implemented numerous projects to provide more than 50 villages in remote parts of Indonesia with access to electrical power. Tri Puni is also a Director for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship and People Empowerment in Electricity Sector of Indonesian Electrical Power Society. In recognition of her efforts to improve livelihoods of rural communities, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature named her a WWF Climate Hero in 2005. In October 2007, GlobeAsia magazine named her as one of the 99 Most Powerful Women in Asia for her efforts to promote community-based hydro electrification.
Good Governance Award
Professor Álvarez Araya, an author, educator and Costa Rica’s former Ambassador to Taiwan, presented the Good Governance Award to Hon. Vinicio Cerezo, former president of Guatemala (1986-1991). The award recognizes an outstanding political leader who exemplifies public service, governs in the public interest, and advances human welfare through executive or legislative initiatives and leadership.
President Cerezo was elected as the first civilian president of Guatemala following 15 years of military rule. Previously, Pres. Cerezo was a congressman and the leader of the Guatemalan Christian Democratic Party and started the democratic process in Guatemala, which continues. He also began peace talks with Guatemalan guerrillas, giving rise to the Framework for Negotiations Peace Agreements. Following his presidency he gathered other Central American leaders at Esquipulas on the Guatemalan-Honduran border to discuss the military conflicts being waged throughout the region. The leaders eventually produced the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, which defined a regional framework for economic cooperation, conflict resolution, democratization, and refugee assistance. Pres. Cerezo is now the president of the Esquipulas Foundation, dedicated to advancing the principles of the Esquipulas Peace Agreement.
Exemplary and Innovative Philanthropy Award
The Exemplary and Innovative Philanthropy Award honored Dr. Manu Chandaria, OBE, EBS , and Mrs. Aruna Chandaria for committed significant resources to fund initiatives to improve and enhance the quality of human life, and was presented by Dr. Markandey Rai, Global Parliamentarian Chair of UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Markandey Rai (left) presents the Exemplary and Innovative Philanthropy Award to Dr. Manu Chandaria and Mrs. Aruna Chandaria
Dr. Chandaria is CEO of Comcraft Group and Founding Chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance. In 2003 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II conferred an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his community work and promotion of Kenyan economic interests. His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, distinguished him with the honor of Elder of the Burning Spear in recognition of outstanding service to the nation. Dr. Chandaria has been a stellar philanthropic leader, chairing GPF’s Africa Regional Council and the recent Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development, while spearheading multiple youth projects and business schools for entrepreneurship development.
Ms. Aruna Chandaria has provided distinguished humanitarian service for street children and through the empowerment of women and youth in Kenya and worldwide. In addition to social work with the Red Cross and Indian Women’s Association, she has welcomed presidents, ambassadors, religious leaders, cabinet ministers, business people, social workers and orphans and street children to her home with warmth and hospitality. Mother Theresa regularly utilized the Chandaria home as her base in Nairobi. Aruna, with husband Manu Chandaria, has helped lead a global “joint family enterprise” on several continents combing successful entrepreneurship with humanitarian service and social responsibility.
Innovative Scholarship for Peace Award
The final award of the gala, the Innovative Scholarship for Peace Award, was presented to Dr. Tae-Hwan Kwak, Chair-Professor at Kyungnam University and Professor Emeritus at Eastern Kentucky University. Presented by H.E. Sir James Mancham, Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, the award recognizes an individual whose advocacy for peace at a research institution or in academia has led to policy initiatives that have advanced social reconciliation and human development.
A specialist on Northeast Asian affairs, inter-Korean relations and Korean peace and unification issues, Dr. Kwak is former President of the Korea Institute for National Unification and former Director of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul, Korea, He taught international relations and East Asian politics over thirty years in 1969-1999 at Eastern Kentucky University and Korean universities. Dr. Kwak is the author of In Search for Peace and Unification on the Korean Peninsula (1986) and The Korean Peninsula in World Politics. He is editor and co-editor of 30 books, including Peace Regime Building on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asian Security Cooperation.
The Global Peace Foundation and Global Peace Convention delegates from 40 nations congratulate these distinguished award winners as exemplary world citizens and dedicated peace makers.