The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States is one of several supporting sponsors, along with the Boston Globe and public television station WGBH, of the National Race Amity Conference which will be held May 18-19 at Wheelock College.
The second annual conference opens with a Thursday evening welcome reception that features sponsor presentations and time devoted to meeting and connecting with conference attendees and speakers. Conference keynote speeches and small group workshops begin on Friday and continue on Saturday. The 2012 National Race Amity Conference offers participants positive, focused opportunities for intimate discussion circles, interactive panels, and informative sessions on a variety of topics central to the main theme of race amity in the United States.
The National Race Amity Conference is organized around Amity Sectors such as arts, business, community service, education, entertainment, government, information media, law, spirituality, and sports. Unlike large scale national conferences where “small” breakout sessions number 50 to 125 participants, each Amity Sector of 20 to 35 participants offers learning opportunities in group settings that are more conducive to deep sharing and understanding.
This year’s conference will be held at Wheelock College’s Brookline Campus located at 43 Hawes Street in Brookline, Mass. Registration is $295 and includes all sessions and meals. The Conference Hotel is the Best Western Longwood; contact number: 617-731-4700 (ask for Race Amity Conference). Register now. For more information, including the conference program at a glance, full list of speakers and conference accommodations, go to www.raceamity.org.
Inspiration for the conference sprang from the American Race Amity Convention in 1921 in Washington, DC. Organized at ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s request by Agnes Parsons, a Bahá’í and Washington socialite, that historic collaborative event saw Bahá’ís including Louis Gregory, Cora Cooke and Alain Locke working with non-Bahá’í leaders such as Moses Clapp, a clergyman and former U.S. senator.
Race Amity 2012: Towards E Pluribus Unum
The 2012 National Race Amity Conference is part of an initiative titled Race Amity 2012: Towards E Pluribus Unum. The overall vision of this initiative is inspired by the first American Race Amity Convention held in Washington, D.C. in 1921. That daring, groundbreaking event was remarkable in both its moral clarity and the unlikely collaboration of its principals and supporters in a nation that was experiencing the aftershocks of the Red Summer of 1919. During that summer thousands of Americans were injured and killed in an outbreak of violence perpetrated by white mobs against black citizens in cities and towns across the nation. Through its laws and general moral advocacy toward equity and access, our nation’s level of racial justice has made quantum leaps since 1921. We still, however, face myriad challenges in the twenty- first century. In pursuit of the true north of our collective moral compass as directed in our national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” Race Amity 2012: Towards E Pluribus Unum is a call to the nation’s habitants and participants in civic, religious, educational, entertainment and business communities to come together to share, inspire, and engage in planning and action toward achieving “from many, one” – E Pluribus Unum.
Other interrelated initiatives include having the second Sunday in June established as the annual National Race Amity Day through a Joint Resolution of Congress and/or Presidential Proclamation and building on the success of the 2011 Boston Race Amity Celebration by organizing and leading the effort for the 2012 Metro Boston Race Amity Celebration at the Rose Kennedy Greenway on June 10, 2012.
For more information about these initiatives, visit the website for the National Center for Race Amity.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States is proud to support those who carry on the legacy of race amity work in America, thus building a brighter and more hopeful future for all.
“When we have put our own house in order, then we may be trusted to carry the message of universal peace to all mankind.”
- From the program of the nation’s first race amity conference, held in Washington D.C. in 1921