Strategies For Racial Reconciliation

Washington, DC -- From Hindus to Christians, Catholics, Baha'is, Muslims and Jews, members of the faith community will join Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Advisory Board member to the President's Race Initiative, in a forum to examine "the changing face of the faith community and solutions to bridging the nation's racial divide." The meeting will convene on June 1, at Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky.

The forum will begin with opening remarks by Rev. Dr. Johnson Cook and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. Diana Eck, Ph.D., a Harvard University Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, will present an overview on "the changing face of the faith community in America." Rose Ochi, Director of the U.S. Justice Department Community Relations Service, will moderate a panel discussion on the impact of the nation's changing racial demographics on the faith community nationally and in Louisville, followed by an audience question and answer session. Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, Founder and President of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, St. Davids, PA, will give a keynote address on "racial reconciliation from a spiritual perspective." An afternoon panel will explore key elements of promising practices that are successfully bridging racial divides. The day will conclude with discussion groups on mobilizing and re-energizing our communities of faith.

Among the panelists are: Robert Henderson, Ed.D, Secretary-General and CEO of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States; T. Vaughn Walker, Ph.D., Pastor, First Gethsemane Baptist Church, Louisville; Beverly Watts, Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and Inez Torres Davis, Associate Minister, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL. Additional participants include: Rabbi Stanley Miles, Temple Shalom, Louisville; Alfred Yazzie, Spiritual Advisor to the Navajo Nation, Window Rock, AZ; and Dr. Kunwar Bhatnagar, Leader, Hindu Temple of Kentucky. Audience seating is limited. For information on public attendance call 202-395-1002.

Last week in New Orleans, Louisiana, 200 national and local members of the faith community participated in a forum on the role of religion in racial reconciliation. During the meeting, religious leaders exchanged various strategies on meeting the needs of multi-racial and ethnic congregations.

WHAT: Religious Leaders Forum in Louisville, Kentucky
WHERE: The Lectorium, Spalding University, Egan Leadership
Center, 901 S. 4th Street
WHEN: Monday June 1, 1998, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
COVERAGE: Open to media. Press availability following the morning session.

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