Using your faith as a force for good
Spending September 11, 2011, in New York gave me a unique opportunity to reflect on the path that led me to be a Faiths Act Fellow. Looking back, I can see a profound connection between the terrorist attacks ten years ago and my current work.
As a 12-year-old I remember watching the attacks on television and opening my eyes to the cultural and religious misunderstandings that plagued the world. I continued to watch the aftermath of the attacks in my hometown in the middle of Iowa. I observed issues of poverty, racial inequality, and Islamophobia interact with hospitality, humility, and friendship. I saw intolerance, but I also saw people working towards understanding. The Faiths Act Fellowship, in theory, was going to allow me to focus my inherent passion for religious cooperation on vital and lasting social action.
In practise, my first months as a fellow have proven that it will be all that and more. So far at UNITED SIKHS Nomi and I have advocated for Sikh civil rights at United Nations meetings, exponentially increased our knowledge of Sikhi, and discussed our religious traditions on a daily basis. We’ve started a Multi-Community Hate Crimes Task Force, taken part in the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and met a wide range of New Yorkers who are already using their faith as a force for good. It’s been an amazing start and there is so much yet to come. This is being a Faiths Act Fellow.