3rd Annual Gathering for Unity event

    December 14, 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
    Islamic Center of Tucson
    901 E 1st St
    Tucson, AZ 85719

    From Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik:

    Our friends over at the Islamic Center of Tucson are hosting an interfaith celebration on Thursday, December 14th. This will be the third year for this important community event. The format includes speakers representing a variety of faith traditions. I’m honored to again be invited to represent the M&C as a speaker. The event will begin at 5:30. The ICT is located at the corner of Tyndall and 1st. Please come and help us affirm the inclusive heart of Tucson.”



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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Over 60 people at this 3rd Annual Gathering for Unity event at the ICT. MC Sister Aiman Arif welcomed everyone, then there was a recitation of the Qu’ran by Sheikh Kamil Khalaf (C. 49). Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke that this was Hanukkah, when they fill the rooms with light from the Menorah, wanted to invoke “decency/respect for each other” at this time. Then Bryan Davis, E.D. of the Tucson Jewish Center said we need to be “models of resistance & courage” now, for”unity & light”. ICT board member Mahmoud Abagi said that the ICT’s goal is for “unity in a diverse community of immigrants (America)”. Pastor Owen Chandler from Saguaro Christian Church wants to “embrace others in community/live in love not fear”. Tucson Quaker Friends George Mairs spoke of bonds with ICT, theme of light, to see “light in others”. Then Ward 6 Councilmember Steve K said that in our polarized world, time to “give voice to unity in action”. Finally Pastor Taylor Burgoyne said that a Muslim ban is the “new sad normal”, but we need a landslide of “cultural change”, because it is “difficult to hate up close”, that “love not shown is love not known”. Then the ICT gave appreciation plaques to two Jews Marty Johnston and Stephanie Roberts who raised $14,000 in a GoFundMe campaign to assist them after the March 2017 vandalism at the ICT (when numerous Qu’rans were destroyed & ICT was vandalized). $20,800 was raised by donations from around the world. A light meal & desserts were served after the unity service. Also present tonight was John Winchester, former candidate for D 1 Supervisor in 2016 (Republican primary).

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