2009 911 Unity Walk: On an overcast day the mood was significantly brightened by the annual 911 Unity walk in Washington, DC on October 18. The goal of this annual walk is reminiscent of Gandhi’s Walks — to build bridges between faiths. In that spirit, every church, synagogue, mosque and temple along Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row in Washington, DC has for the past 5 years opened their doors to each other and symbolically the world. The walk, started after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, continues to work to tear down the walls of suspicion. From the Washington Hebrew Congregation to the Indian Embassy, Churches, the National Gurdwara, the Soka Gakkai Buddhists Center, Vatican Embassy (Great Cookies) welcomed and fed walkers, answered questions and even wrapped volunteers in colorful Sikh Turbans.

Comments along the Unity Walk: I wanted to see some of the presentations from different faith
Mohe and Shavana (Muslim)

“I got involved when it first started 5 years ago. I would like to see racial prejudice go away. The exciting part of this year is lots of new faces Volunteer- NickKhalilGibranMemPark–TurkishWhirlingDervishes_Baha’iMusicalGroup

Came with a friend who is a regular Unity walker I believe in all religions and enjoyed seeing different places of worship. (Unity)
New walker Leslie and veteran Stephanie
Gandhi Memorial

Two days later we hosted a group of 11 international guests from Mali, West Africa in our office for a discussion of faith and society in the US. The group included Imams, Doctors, and a protestant Pastor touring the US (Michigan, Washington, DC.) They have an Interfaith Alliance of Mali, formed in 1980 to bring Muslim and Christians together to build better relations. The group wanted to know how we work. How does the Interfaith Alliance bring people together? Who are your members? What are your greatest challenge? In many ways they face the same issues of misperception and fear of “the other” and religion used as a weapon instead of a healing force that is the basis of our work. Good people!MalianVisitors2- 5x3web

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  • Avi Smolen

    Despite the overcast skies, the Unity Walk was a great event that brought together a variety of people from many backgrounds. My group, the Faiths Act Fellows of Washington DC, was one of many at the Community Service Fair held at the beginning of the walk. I’m thankful that Washington continues to be a leader in interfaith action.

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