Community Members Come Together In The 8th Annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk

By:
Posted on:

< < Back to

“Thank you for being here tonight as we walk for a more peaceful tomorrow,” said Ohio University President Duane Nellis, starting off the 8th Annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk.

Janalee Stock, of Athens, Ohio, raises her hands in the air, holding peace signs, during the Interfaith Peace Walk on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Athens. “I believe in peace,” Stock said. “I believe in coming together as a human race — one race.” (Charles Hatcher/WOUB)

COORDINATING THE EVENT:

The Better Together Campaign coordinated the event alongside the United Campus Ministry in hopes of bringing different faiths together to remember the tragic event of 9/11.  Better Together Campaign Organizer and Intern, Saraya Abner, says their organization plans different events throughout the year to educate others:

“We try and teach people about different faiths through different programs, so we put on different educational and service learning events throughout the year.”

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Executive Director and Campus Minister at United Campus Ministry, Reverend Evan Young, started the peace walk in 2011 — the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — by talking to different faith communities and explaining how he wanted all different religious background to come together and walk for 9/11 and social justice. His efforts ultimately led him to reaching his goal:

“The ultimate goal in creating the event was to embody this idea that we are all one and that we all are connected…..and it was amazing to me, the number of different faith communities that said ‘Yes. Absolutely'” to participating in the event.

THE EVENT ITSELF:

The walk started at 7PM at the the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on University Terrace.  President  Nellis, gave his opening remarks and the walk commenced.  The crowd walked up court street and went to Hillel, a Jewish organization, to hear their first prayer of the night. From there, they marched down Mill Street to the final destination: The Islamic Center on Stewart street — there the crowd stood in silence, holding their candles, to remember the lives lost in the tragic event of 9/11. And for the first time, Reverend Young did not sing, but instead had a surprise for everyone:

“This year, for the first time, we have a choir that will lead us in a couple of songs.”

Reverend Evan Young, executive director of United Campus Ministry commences the Eighth Annual Interfaith Peace Walk outside of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Athens, Ohio. From the church they marched through Athens, to Hillel, and finished their walk at the Islamic Center of Athens and Office of the Muslim Student Association. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)
Ohio University President Duane Nellis. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)
Athens community members march through the Ohio University campus and downtown Athens, Ohio, in the Eighth Annual Interfaith Peace Walk. The peace walk is an act of solidarity for community members of different faiths, in memory of the events on September 11, 2001. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)
Mary-Magdalene Chumbow, of Athens, Ohio, shares a moment with her 8-year-old son, Jean-Phanuel Chumbow, before the Interfaith Peace Walk on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in front of the Church of the Good Shepard in Athens Ohio. Mary-Magdalene Chumbow said she participated in the walk with her son and sister. (Photo by Charles Hatcher/WOUB)
Cate Matisi, of Athens, Ohio, wears a ‘PEACE’ shirt during the Interfaith Peace Walk on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Athens. About 100 people walked from the Church of the Good Shepard to the Muslim Student Association, in Athens. (Photo by Charles Hatcher/WOUB)
The Interfaith Peace Walk pauses a moment at Hillel for a prayer, before continuing their march to the Islamic Center of Athens. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)
Reverend Evan Young, executive director of United Campus Ministry, welcomes members of the Interfaith Peace Walk to the Islamic Center of Athens and Office of the Muslim Student Association, at the end of the route. At the Islamic Center, the crowd shared in a prayer, songs, and a meal. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)
Jean-Phanuel Chumbow, 8, of Athens, Ohio, stands with his mom Mary-Magdalene Chumbow at the Islamic Center of Athens following the Interfaith Peace Walk.
Hanan Al-Shadadi of Athens, Ohio, stands with her candle outside of the Islamic Center of Athens following the Interfaith Peace Walk. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)

HOW IT MAKES ONE FEEL:

The event would not have been the same without the Ohio University students and the Athens community members coming together to walk and remember the tragedy that occurred on September 11th, 2001.

“We’re all apart of this global world and we need to work together collectively and be respectful of each other. We need to show respect and passion and commitment to the sense of community,” President Nellis said.

“It’s heart-warming for me to see the diversity of students and community members with different backgrounds, interests, faiths and orientations… We want to be a place where our people feel safe and included and respectful of the diversity.”

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER…

As we look back at the events that happened in 2001, we can also remember how the community comes together, this day every year, to fight for social justice.

“It’s easy to feel alone in your interest of social justice, but this is an event where organizations and individuals from all over the Athens and Ohio University community come together to be that social justice community…and the invitation to join it is as wide open as it could be,” Reverend Young concluded.

Community members who marched in the interfaith Peace Walk gather and light candles at the Islamic Center of Athens, listening to prayer, singing songs, and sharing a meal together. (Hannah Schroeder/ WOUB)

**For any ideas for the 9th annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk , feel free to contact Reverend Young at evan@ucmathens.org**