In early 2016, Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign was underway and racist rhetoric and hate crimes against minority groups were increasing nationwide. In Los Angeles, a new organization was launched specifically to build stronger common ground among religions, to support freedom of worship, and to stand in solidarity together with local Jewish and Muslim communities which were being targeted. That Spring, the Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice (IRTPJ) hosted the first annual Interfaith Solidarity March, which brought together members from numerous houses of worship across the religious spectrum. Faith In Action and UUSM members and friends turned out to help make the first march a big success — and you’re invited to join in this month’s event.
Since 2016, UUSM has supported and participated in the annual March every year. We have spread the word and brought in other UU congregations, and helped to expand participation to neighboring secular and non-religious groups as well. We have hosted sign-making with the IRTPJ leaders here in the cottage, and made many new contacts and friends from LA-area religious communities.
The yearly event has built good will among local Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, UU, atheist/humanist groups and others and provided opportunities for dialogue and connection. Most importantly, it has shown wider LA how these many communities can join together to bear witness to their shared humanity and forcefully reject bigotry and violence in the name of religion.
During the pandemic, #InterfaithMarchLA went virtual, hosting speakers and attendees online. This year, the March is back in person. As in the past, it will begin at St. Basil’s Catholic Church in Koreatown, and the group will walk approximately one mile down Wilshire Boulevard, making stops at Immanuel Presbyterian and the Robert F. Kennedy memorial before ending up at the Islamic Center of Southern California. There will be speakers from participating religious communities along the route and refreshments provided at the end.
Please join us for a fun and meaningful afternoon and help us to make this important event a continuing success! We will carpool and/or plan rideshares from UUSM, leaving right after Coffee Hour on Sunday, April 30.