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Parliament to Join City of Chicago “Together We Heal” Initiative

February 10, 2021

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is joining organizers and community leaders in Chicago as part of the City’s Together We Heal initiative. The initiative aims to build racial healing across Chicago and promote civic unity by encouraging Chicagoans to connect across lines of difference and support a collective conversation about our truth and our promise as a City.

The City of Chicago holds the distinction of serving as the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement and serving as the only city in the world to host two historic Parliament of the World’s Religions convenings. In 1893, the World’s Parliament of Religions was hosted as part of the World Columbian Exposition, becoming the first organized interfaith gathering in modern history. In 1993 the Parliament returned to Chicago in celebration of the centenary of the 1893 convening and since then the organization by the same name has called Chicago our home.

In the Spring of 2021, the Parliament will host a series of virtual programs to foster conversation and share tools on healing and justice from the Chicago interfaith community. As part of the Parliament’s virtual observance of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, the first webinar in the series will focus on highlighting the critical need for our faith communities to foster healing and love for our neighbors. Featuring faith leaders from around the city answering the question, “How do we as communities and individuals heal and build better together?”

Together We Heal: Interfaith Perspectives on Loving Our Neighbors will feature the participation of:

  • Janaan Hashim is a co-founder of and civil rights attorney with Amal Law Group, LLC, the nation’s first law firm founded by six Muslim women.  Janaan has practiced law since 2006 and is also an adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary where she team-teaches “Religious Pluralism and Ministry.”
  • Fr. John Pawlikowski is a Servite Friar priest, Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, and Former Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, part of The Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry, at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is also a Trustee of the Board at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
  • Rabbi Michael Balinsky is a Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and served as the Executive Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, an organization representing two hundred rabbis of all denominations. He is a member of the Jewish Catholic Scholars Dialogue in Chicago and serves as a member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago.
  • Sharan Kaur Singh is a Business Consultant and a Program Manager.  Currently, she works at SALDEF (the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund) a national Sikh organization based in Washington DC. Sharan organizes and develops programs that help to educate, inspire and empower the Sikh community.
  • Syda Segovia Taylor is the founder/executive director for Organic Oneness and has 25 years of nonprofit experience working with Black and Latino youth and families in Chicago. She prides herself on being a social justice advocate by promoting racial and environmental justice, physical and spiritual health, and the oneness of humankind and religion. Segovia Taylor also serves as a representative of the Chicago Baha’i community.