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Religion, Conflict, and Peace Conference Promotes World Unity

From March 23 to 25, HFCC was the site of the 4th Annual Conference on “Religion, Conflict, and Peace: Walking The Talk To Compassion and Harmony.” The event was co-sponsored by HFCC, the Common Bond Institute, the People’s Peace Fund, the Parashakthi Temple, and the International Humanistic Psychology Association. The event featured three days of distinguished guest speakers and presentations, all united under the common goal of promoting peace and fellowship between all religions from around the world, encourage human right, and discuss other current issues facing the world today.
A number of HFCC students and staff members were involved in the numerous roundtable discussions that took place as part of the conference. Bill Secrest from the World Religions Department, who was also one of the event’s planners, was part of “Building Compassion and Harmony Through The Academic Study of Religion.” Art History professor Hashim Al-Tawil and Mary Assel, director of the English Language Institute, discussed “Local and Global Manifestations of Islamophobia, Solutions and Recommendations” along with Adnan Salhi. HFCC students were involved in “How the Youth Can Put An End to Islamaphobia,” and members of the Amnesty International club, along with HFCC English instructor Geraldine Grunow, presented “We Can LIVE Without the Death Penalty.”
“This was a fantastic opportunity to take our activism outside of the typical ’petition-rally-petition-rally’ cycle a lot of activist groups get into and really merge with a greater, holistic message of compassion and peace,” said Anas Pasha, president of HFCC’s chapter of Amnesty International, about their presentation. Pasha, who is Vice President of the Student Environmental Association, also helped discuss the topic of “Sustainability and Alternative Energy.”
“The Student Environmental Association presented on general sustainability - since sustainable living is really the fundamental bedrock of compassion and peace,” Pasha said of the club’s presentation. “I discussed the aspect of sustainability regarding food, our secretary Kelly Williamson discussed sustainability regarding energy, our advisor Bill Secrest discussed land conservancy, and we also had a guest from the Sierra Club to discuss general sustainability practices.”
Other speakers included activists, professors, motivational speakers, and religious leaders from all over the world, as well as a musical performance by the Arab-American blues fusion band Mazaj.
The event was a wonderful example of how people from all ends of the earth can come together and support world peace.

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