Alexandria, VA – Prejudice can be compounded by ignorance, and a new local group is launching an effort to bridge divisions and eliminate animosity between religions with an interfaith tour of houses of worship throughout the area. Tour de Faith Alexandria started during the summer with 10 members, and the group will hold a community launch event at Beatley Central Library at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13.
“This is an opportunity for Alexandrians to come together in groups to visit and worship in places that are different from their own,” said Blair Forlaw, a member of the Tour De Faith Alexandria steering committee. “We recognize that Alexandria has an abundance of various kinds of people who attend different houses of worship, and we think in many cases we are skeptical or apprehensive of our neighbors of different races primarily because we don’t know them.”
The event will include…
- Opening comments from Alexandria Living Legend Rosa Byrd
- Presentation by City Demographer Sierra Latham
- A conversation on “Understanding Our Religious Identities” with Benjamin P. Marcus, a religious literacy specialist at the Religious Freedom Center
- A speech on changing communities by Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith
- Closing thoughts with Opal Boyer of the Yavapai-Apache Nation and Grassroots Alexandria, and Lance Fisher of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Tour de Faith Alexandria plans to visit houses of worship for the next year. At the kickoff, the grassroots group will tell participants about their principles and distribute the following itinerary for the first three months of the tour.
Upcoming Outings For Tour de Faith Alexandria
- Oct. 28 – Alexandria Bahai Center, 5400 Eisenhower Ave.
- Nov. 3 – St. Joseph Catholic Church
- Nov. 16 – Interfaith breakfast and meal packing with Islamic Relief USA
- Dec. 3 – Christ Church, for their choral evensong
- Dec 20 – Hanukkah celebration at Beth El Hebrew Congregation