Spring of Solidarity Campaign Launches with SolidariTea Event in NYC
- On March 25th, over 50 people from 6 different faith traditions came together to launch the Spring of Solidarity campaign
- All who attended were united in giving to FEED THE HUNGRY in Kenya, raising over $800 for the project
- Speakers Ruth Messinger (President of American Jewish World Service) and Rev. Chloe Breyer (Exec. Director of the Interfaith Center of New York) spoke eloquently about the powerful impact that people of faith can have on international development, and praised UNITED SIKHS' interfaith social justice efforts
New York, NY -- On March 25th, the first Sunday of spring, New Yorkers gathered to kick-off the Spring of Solidarity campaign. The event exemplified the goal of the campaign; bringing together diverse communities to create lasting relationships and make a difference on the local and global scales through doing service and raising funds.
Enjoying tea and delicious treats, over 50 people from 6 different faith traditions sat around common tables for an afternoon of inspired conversation led by speakers Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service, and Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director of the Interfaith Center of New York. Both speakers, effective leaders in their fields, encouraged attendees to acknowledge the interdependency of people around the world and to act in a way that increases the bonds between all people, regardless of faith.
When asked why it is important for faith communities to work together on international development, Rev. Breyer expressed that multi-faith work is necessary not only because of increased impact but because it bridges deep religious divides in our own country and builds bonds among communities. Ms. Messinger highlighted that by working together, people of faith begin to knit together the world's broken fragments.
|Faiths Act Fellows Nomi Teutsch and Hannah Shirey, speakers Rev. Chloe Breyer and Ruth Messinge|
Ruth Messinger and Rev. Breyer called upon the wisdom of their faith traditions, Judaism and Christianity respectively, as they challenged the attendees to take action on the crises and injustices of our time. Rev. Breyer called reconciliation "the mission of G-d." Ms. Messinger cited Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel when he said, when injustices are allowed to go on "...some are guilty, all are responsible." Ms. Messinger called upon the members of the Spring of Solidarity to claim responsibility and use their privilege to right wrongs on the local and global scales.
|Rabbi David Teutsch and UNITED SIKHS founder Mankanwal Singh||Event attendees listen to speaker Ruth Messinger|
Both speakers beautifully connected long-standing traditions of faith and justice to the current opportunity we all have to write a narrative of multi-faith action.
Everyone in the room felt inspired by the speakers' powerful calls to action. To help show people what they can do to make a difference, the Faiths Act Fellows showed this video to introduce the Spring of Solidarity campaign and educate about the campaign's two recipient projects: FEED THE HUNGRY in Kenya, a project of UNITED SIKHS, and Faiths Act in Sierra Leone, and anti-malaria project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
By coming together in support of these projects, run by people of faith in other countries, New York City faith communities can have a real impact even as they build deep relationships.
Join Upcoming Actions in the Spring of Solidarity:
- In April, each congregation will mark World Malaria Day and raise awareness and funds for the Interfaith Anti-Malaria Program in Sierra Leone.
- In May, we will have Solidarity Through Service, a day of neighborhood-based volunteering.
- We will end the campaign with an Empty Bowl Dinner to benefit FEED THE HUNGRY, as well as celebrate the collective impact of the member congregations.
We invite communities and individuals to get involved and become leaders of the Spring of Solidarity. We will take action together to make lasting local relationships that support positive development on a global scale.
If you would like to be involved, contact Faiths Act Fellows Hannah and Nomi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Spring of Solidarity website: www.unitedsikhs.org/solidarity.
Hannah Shirey and Nomi Teutsch are serving as Faiths Act Fellows for the 2011-2012 year in New York City. Based at UNITED SIKHS, a community-based U.N.-affiliated non-profit organization, they are working to bring faith communities in NYC together to fight injustice. With a specific focus on the issues of health and hunger, they are working to support an interfaith anti-malaria project in Sierra Leone and a Sikh food bank in Kenya. Locally they work to build meaningful relationships through service and engagement among people of different faiths around the city. To learn more about the Faiths Act Fellowship, go here.
Pictures courtesy of Johanna Resnick Rosen/Candid Eye.