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The Ansari Institute Delegation Attends the Parliament

August 23, 2023
Originally published by The Ansari Institute on August 23 by Rebekah Go

It is fairly easy to get lost at McCormick Place. After all, the convention center – located on the south loop of Chicago, IL – is the largest in the United States. Meanderingly large, cavernous in design, and inclusive of at least four separate buildings all connected via skyway, the enormity of McCormick’s Place seemed fitting for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, where the Ansari Institute held a prominent role this past week.

With a mission of creating and cultivating “harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities” and fostering engagement to “to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world” the Parliament’s mission is both ambitious and sweeping. It would seem to require an enormous space especially because the Parliament specifically invites, “individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.” That’s a lot of people with a lot of diverse religious traditions.

For members of the Ansari delegation, it was immediately apparent that we were surrounded by kindred spirits: individuals committed to recognizing the dignity and spiritual practices of each person while still wholly embracing our own unique identity. “A Catholic, a Muslim, and Bahai walk into a room…” Not a joke at the Parliament, rather this was a common site. Along with Jews, Hindus, Pagans and more. The Opening plenary included large delegations of Buddhists in their orange robes, Sikhs in their turbans, and even Chinese dragons. All of the participants were offered a warm welcome from a representative of the Potawatomi peoples on whose land the Parliament was held. It was clear from the start that each and every person who was fortunate to attend the Parliament was also committed to its mission.

Read the full feature at The Ansari Institute→