The 9/11 Unity Walk is an event that strives to involve members of mutual religious communities in the building up of understanding and cooperation between religious traditions and faiths.
The Unity Walk creates ways for people of all faiths to walk together. Walking together gives people a way to demonstrate that they are not willing to be divided by religion or subject to those seeking to divide. The Walk provides an opportunity for the peaceful majority to say, “we acknowledge our differences and we will not be divided by those differences. We care enough to know our neighbor as we seek to live peaceful lives in our global community.” Our purpose is to inspire and mobilize people to move towards peace, understanding and compassion around the world.
“We walk together as neighbors from many faiths and cultures. We gather in peace to demonstrate our unity, recalling the spirit of togetherness that grew out of 9/11. We commemorate this day because concern for each other’s welfare is the shared hope of us all.”
Context and History
To map the history of the Unity Walk, we must begin in 2005, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington, DC where a group of interfaith activists assembled to discuss the future of the interfaith movement both locally and globally. It was from that conference that the Unity Walk was envisioned and where the commitment to organize the Unity Walk was forged. At the time, the main organizers could not foresee the transformative power that their efforts and ideas would create.
While the walk’s approach to the tragedy of 9/11 has goals that are unique, the movement is rooted in a long history found within many lineages of individuals and groups who sought guidance in promoting interfaith harmony as a vehicle towards inter-group understanding and peace. What is original in this approach is the grand synthesizing of apolitical, multicultural and interfaith cooperation around a day that is recognized for death and destruction. By combining what are antithetical sentiments into the cataclysmic day of 9/11 and displaying a positive, human centered call for hope, a space can be opened that allows the widest base of understanding and unity to be achieved.