United Christian Parish Plans Community Discussion on Bigotry and Unconscious Bias

An upcoming event at a Reston church plans to dive into the issue of hate in the wake of violent clashes earlier this month in Charlottesville.

United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will host a panel of community and faith leaders on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. for what it is calling a “post-Charlottesville town hall.” According to information provided by the church, residents are invited to take part in the “[discussion of] bigotry and unconscious bias as we seek to work together to heal the wounds.”

Panelists scheduled for the event include:

  • the Rev. Debra Haffner, Unitarian Universalist Reston
  • Imam Ali Siddiqui, the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, Virginia
  • the Rev. Dr. Ken Brooks Langston, Disciples Justice Action Network
  • the Rev. Michele Nickens, Washington Plaza Baptist Church
  • the Rev. Russell Heiland, Unity Fairfax
  • Minister Wendy Hamilton, Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia
  • Ronald Lapitan, the Center for Health and Human Rights
  • the Rev. Marcus Leathers, United Christian Parish-Reston

Registration is also open for the church’s Justice & Inclusion Conference, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11. Workshops will include Justice of Anti-Racism, Immigrant Sanctuary Cause & the Law, LGBTQ Students, Employees and Families in Public Schools, Troubling the Waters: Intimate Violence & the Church, Movement for Health & Human Rights, Think Global Warming: Act Local, Social Justice and Islam, Social Witness & Justice Advocacy, Transgender Advocacy, Immigrant/Refugee Advocacy and more.

“In light of recent events, it seems more important than ever for people to come together to discuss and work together for justice, inclusion and peace,” the church says in a press release. “We will not agree on all of the issues, but we can find common ground and we can work together to advance justice, inclusion and peace.”

Singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine will also perform at the free conference.

For more information about either of these events, contact James Dean at [email protected] or 571-830-8730.

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