Nearly 200 attendees packed the lower level of Founders’ Hall Auditorium for La Salle University’s ninth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service.
Organized annually by members of La Salle University’s Community Building Team, the event serves as an open forum to welcome members of the La Salle community and the general public—regardless of their background—for an exchange and reflection on the legacy of the famed civil rights activist.
This year’s event, held Jan. 20, centered on words King shared upon accepting the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“In our Zen practice we often speak about realizing our own true self nature,” said Shuzen Sensei Jules Harris, a Zen Buddhist priest. “And at the heart of that discovery is the recognition of unity, the awareness of interdependence, and the awakening to the one body that is our unconditioned existence. Dr. King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize some 55 years ago. When he said, ‘Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace,’ he was pointing to this interdependence.”
Dawud K. Muhammad, resident imam of Masjid Al Muid Mosque in Philadelphia’s Belfield section, delivered the keynote address. In addition, Brother David Deradoorian, FSC, a theology teacher at West Catholic Preparatory High School, and Laura Frank, La Salle associate professor of nutrition spoke to the large gathering. The program also included a musical reflection by Bring Everyone Together (B.E.T.) and dance reflection by My Sisters Keeper.
“The Interfaith Service serves as an opportunity for the La Salle community to fellowship with our neighbors, family, and friends,” said Brandon Vaughan, La Salle’s director for government and community affairs, and co-chair for the Interfaith Service committee. “As we come together to observe and commemorate Dr. King’s life and legacy, it becomes evident that there’s still work to be done to achieve his dream of a peaceful and unified nation. We are honored to open our doors to the community for this service and continue the dialogue on how we can practice Dr. King’s faith, patience, and activism within our neighborhood and around the world.”
—Christopher A. Vito