ETX community sets aside differences in search of peace
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
About 100 East Texans came together Monday evening with the goal of
bringing together a diverse cross-section of the Tyler community.
The event took place at the East Texas Islamic Society Mosque where
attendees represented various racial, cultural and religious identities
that make up their community.
"We can't expect people to get along at the national and
international level until we can get along with everyone in our world at
a personal level," said Anne McCrady, one of the co-founders of the Art
of Peace Festival.
Which is something McCrady and the Art of
Peace Festival Committee hopes to achieve through a week long series of
peace-activities and programs throughout Tyler.
"We need to stop
looking at the differences, dwelling on the differences, it instills
fear. We are afraid of change, we are afraid of differences, and I
believe that when we look at the commonalities (that we are humans, that
we care for our families and our friends and we all eat), that's a good
place to start," said guest speaker Carmen Sosa, who is also founder of
the the East Texas Community Food Coalition.
So on Monday evening, people of different faiths, races and
backgrounds broke bread together at the East Texas Islamic Society
"Most of these people have never been in the mosque,
most of these people have never met each other. It takes a lot of
courage to go to a place that you're not familiar with. That very act is
the beginning of learning to listen to people and to understand them,
and so we feel like when people trade personal stories, that's exactly
what we want to have happen at an international level, to ask both sides
and to listen and so we think this is where you learn how to do that,"
"Diversity does not need to mean divisiveness. We
really can get along. Our job, our role really, is hospitality. We
basically open the door, make the coffee and invite people in to sit
together. It's very simple really," said Mary Andrews, co-founder of Art
of Peace Tyler.
It is that simplicity they are counting on to make big changes.
just hope that our ideas ripple out and we can cross religious
boundaries, and neighborhood boundaries, and church boundaries and in
Tyler start to model what we want for the world,"McCrady said.
If you would like to learn more about this festival and the other events taking place in Tyler, just click here.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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