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A Word from the Chair of the Host Committee

Welcome to the 2023 convening of the Parliament of World’s Religions. It is my extreme honor to welcome you to Chicago, the city that I love. As both a pastor and change agent, I am excited about this year’s theme: A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights.

Throughout my time serving my community as the founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party Chicago Alderman, and United States Congressman, my faith continues to guide my work. As faith leaders and believers, it’s our duty to fight for the human rights of ALL people. This week you will hear from people of all faiths and walks of life, and it is our similarities, not our differences that will arm us with the tools to advocate for our global neighbors.

The holy scripture of my traditional faith tells us in Micah 6:8(KJV): and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? It’s important to remember that while our faiths differ, the basis of all of them is love and charity. Throughout this week I encourage you to build relationships and make a commitment to learn more about the world around you. You have the power to shine a light on a world cloaked in darkness and I pray you find a source of inspiration this weekend.

I encourage you to keep an open mind and network. I am confident that we hold the tools needed to ensure that every human in every country has every basic right that should be afforded to them. Chicago has been the home for some of the greatest faith advances in history, I look forward to continuing the tradition.

Peace and blessings to you and remember, we are stronger together.