Zebiba Jibreel is National Volunteer Coordinator at Islamic Relief USA.
Want to know how to unite people of different faiths for a good cause? The Walk DC is an annual interfaith event that makes this happen every single year. This year, ten different faith communities opened their doors as open houses to walkers of all backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. This is a step-by-step of how to bring people of different faiths together, peacefully (for real).
1. Walk together for miles.
On Sunday, September 27, 2015, Washingtonians of different faiths walked together down Magnificent Mile. I walked with Islamic Relief USA volunteers and staff to celebrate unity with other area organizations and congregations. Together, we walked more than two miles.
2. Take frequent breaks together.
We made various, celebratory stops to acknowledge the variety of backgrounds that were being represented at the walk, including the Embassy Church, Catholic Church, Sikh Gurdwara, The Washington National Cathedral, Greek Orthodox Cathedral, The Buddhist Center, and the Khalil Gibran Park.
3. Pray together.
The last stop made together was at the Islamic Center of Washington where evening prayer was performed. It’s also where a series of inspirational speeches were given to bring everyone together.
4. Welcome Pope Francis together, virtually.
The Islamic Center of Washington virtually welcomed Pope Francis to the United States of America on the South lawn, as he was live-streamed from Philadelphia for his final, public address in the Untied States.
5. Deliver potatoes and more to shelters together.
More than 30,000 potatoes arrived on a truck all the way from Maine to be distributed to kitchens serving the homeless in the city. We also ate hot meals together and shared ideas about ways we could work together in the future.
6. Give thanks, together.
Walk organizer Meaghan gave these words of gratitude:
“WORDS WILL NOT DO JUSTICE TO DESCRIBE THE POSITIVE ENERGY THAT WAS CREATED, FELT AND SHARED YESTERDAY. MY DEEPEST APPRECIATION TO EACH OF YOU, FOR ALL THE VARIOUS PARTS THAT YOU PLAYED TO MAKE THE WALK THE SUCCESS THAT IT WAS. I TRUST THE SINCERITY OF EFFORTS AND THE RELATIONSHIPS FORMED WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE, AND MORE GREAT MOMENTS WILL GROW FROM THE COMING TOGETHER YESTERDAY.”
(We thank you too, Meaghan!)