Greensboro celebrates unity across faith traditionsBy Yasmine Regester / November 30, 2015
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The Greensboro community left their religion and politics at the door when they entered Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium on Sunday for The Piedmont Interfaith Council’s 33rd Celebration of Giving Thanks.
Created in 1983 by Dr. James Hull, this community-wide ecumenical celebration of Thanksgiving was first held as part of the 175th Anniversary of the City of Greensboro. The success of this event eventually nurtured the seed that grew into the Piedmont Interfaith Council (PIC), a community-led group dedicated to fostering communication and understanding across religious and racial lines.
“People came in and left their biases at the door to celebrate and respect one another and all the faith traditions we have in this community,” said Akir Khan, PIC Board Chair.
Close to 200 people attended the free event and brought canned items to be donated to the Out of the Garden Project, a Guilford County initiative that provides a bag of food on a weekly basis to families in need. Attendees donated close to 70 pounds of food.
“We want to give food and hope for every child,” noted Khan.
The “We Are One” theme shined bright as the celebration included Hindu dancers, West African percussionists, a children’s chorus, African American spirituals, poems and a mass performance at the end of the program featuring all of the evening’s performers.
Khan noted that this was the perfect time to show that Greensboro still cares about community.
“With everything going on in our community surrounding immigration and refugees, we want to set a precedent to find commonalities between groups of people to help us all get along better,” said Khan. “We want to show that our country is still about community.”
The purpose of this annual celebration is to bring people together from across the city and county and from all traditions for an inclusive gathering of all ages, socioeconomic groups, races, religions, and national origins to recognize commonalities rather than differences.
“Our role is to build bridges of understanding and inclusion because at the end of it all, we are one,” said Ivan Cutler, PIC board member.
For more information on the Piedmont Interfaith Council, visit www.piedmontinterfaithcouncil.org.