FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC, Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – Thousands of people will come together in Washington, DC for the 9th annual 9/11 Unity Walk on Sunday, September 21. Houses of worship on Massachusetts Avenue, NW (also known as Embassy Row), open their doors to the community to learn about faith traditions through music, art and complementary food. Taking place on the International Day of Peace, the event sets the intention for greater understanding, acceptance and friendship among people from different backgrounds and beliefs.
The 9/11 Unity Walk’s activities will begin with an Interfaith Expo at 12:00 p.m. and the kick-off will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Washington Hebrew Congregation at 3935 Macomb Street, NW. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Service for Peace” and is free for the public to attend.
“Regardless of our faith, beliefs, culture, or current work in the world, we are all in the valuable position to observe how we use our energy,” said Meghan Mulvenna, Executive Director of 9/11 Unity Walk. “As both a daily practitioner of Raja Yoga meditation and member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, I value being true to ourselves in our efforts to serve others. It is through inner silence and acceptance that I am able to view all as brothers and sisters, deserving of pure feelings and good wishes. The Unity Walk intends to exemplify that in our nation’s capital.”
The organization has 900 religious congregations and volunteers across the Washington, DC metropolitan area involved with outreach to their communities through service projects, donations, and hosting activities along the Walk route. This year, the 9/11 Unity Walk is a partner with the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.
“The annual Unity Walk is an expression of the best of our traditions,” said Jack Gordon, Producer at Faith in Action DC. “As neighbors, as a community, we must recognize that the road is broad, the travelers many, and we each have something to share with and learn from one another. To quote the Holy Writings of the Bahá’í Faith, we are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”
Primarily led by volunteers, the Unity Walk represents various faith traditions, cultures, ages and philosophical beliefs. In addition, they coordinate activities leading up to the event including a meditation flash mob, a conflict resolution workshop and announcements through social media.
“Real service is born when every fiber within our consciousness is connected to the Source of all that is good, true and pure,” said Sister Jenna, Director of the Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, Maryland and host of America Meditating on Blog Talk Radio. “When we serve to initiate peace, we must start with the peace we carry within ourselves. Each time I participate in the Unity Walk it reminds me how beautiful God’s children are when we come together as one.”
• Interfaith Expo at the Washington Hebrew Congregation
• ‘Deeds Not Words’ photography exhibit by Jack Gordon from Faith in Action DC
• Muslim Call to Prayer at the Washington Hebrew Congregation
• Mantra Meditation in the Khalil Gibran Memorial Garden
• Leaders from different faith traditions and philosophies will share their unique insights about their communities on the event path
• Walk ends at the Mahatma Gandhi statue across from the Indian Embassy
“Like all the great faiths, Islam calls upon its adherents to embody the values of love, compassion and service to all members of the human family,” said Imam Zia of MakeSpace in Alexandria, Virginia. “At a time of great strife on the domestic and international fronts, more than ever, people of all faiths and those of no faith need to unite in our shared mission of promoting peace and tolerance. We hope and pray that the Unity Walk in this great nation’s capital will strengthen our resolve and unite our hearts in promoting these values in the most effective, visible way.”