On March 24, 2018, nearly 70 guests gathered at the Golden Lion Restaurant in Toronto for the 12th annual International Women's Day Luncheon organized by WFWP Canada on the theme "Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality."
WFWP Canada President, Lilly Tadin, opened the program with a traditional aboriginal greeting and acknowledged that the meeting was being held on indigenous territory. She went on to describe the activities of WFWP and shared the contents of co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon's message from 2012 encouraging women to take on the mantle of world peace, starting in their local communities and reaching out to the world.
Mrs. Yulia Tarasov, MC for the event, introduced the program which started with a poetry reading by Mrs. Arooj Aarooj, writer and radio show personality, entitled "Keep an Eye on Your Sun."
Mrs. Zorah Zoberi followed with a poem on the role of women in the Muslim tradition, based on her experience as a playwright and poet. She compared gender equity and gender equality, encouraging women and men to bring about an inclusive culture.
Rev. Sky Starr, a Toronto pastor and community activist, emphasized the hierarchy of needs starting with security and physiological needs, which are the focus of her work in her community.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Native Rights Activist, educator and recipient of the Order of Canada, spoke of love and respect for elders, education of young people, the importance of protecting land and water and the role of mothers in promoting love in the family and in the continuity of tradition.
After the speeches, Dr. Corbiere Lavell and Rev. Sky Starr received Ambassador for Peace designations from Dr. Moonshik Kim, Chair, and Robert Duffy, Secretary-General, of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Canada.
The program closed with a performance by a group of martial arts students, delighting the audience.