The Unity Walk Story
Why do we Walk each year at the 9/11 Unity Walk?
“We walk because we have not yet arrived.” Imam Mohamed Magid, of All Dulles Area Muslims Society.
All houses of worship on Embassy Row, Massachusetts Avenue open their doors to each other and to you.
People of different faiths, philosophies, cultures, and those who claim no faith, are invited to experience a world of traditions through music, art, architecture, service, and food.
After ten fulfilling years, the 9/11 Unity Walk non-profit corporation is announcing its end.
Concerned citizens organized the first Unity Walk event in 2005 in the wake of 9/11 to offer people of different faiths and traditions a chance to come together and build bridges of respect. All the houses of worship on Embassy Row opened their doors to each other and symbolically the world – offering hospitality and inviting strangers into their sanctuaries.
For 10 years, the Unity Walk has been a hallmark of interfaith togetherness and testimonies and feedback from participants demonstrate that, together, we have achieved the mission. Thus, Board of Directors of 9/11 Unity Walk has determined that the day has come to dissolve the organization.
One could be sad, but we should focus on all the wonderful things accomplished and memories created. And, the most important thing of all, for all those who cared enough to put aside their differences, walk together, volunteer or tell someone about the Walk: A BIG THANK YOU.
Just imagine: 1,000 people coming together to build friendships, to learn, to serve, to celebrate and to remember. What a statement for unity. And what an authentic moving experience we had, whether it was the solemnity of the first 9/11 memorial Walks or in later years the camaraderie of working side by side on a service project with someone of a different faith. Our Unity Walk memories include hearing the Muslim call to prayer at Washington Hebrew Congregation, singing “Amazing Grace” at the Islamic Center, being greeted by nuns with cookies at the Vatican Embassy and hearing Desmond Tutu’s rich baritone say to us “the walls of suspicion and injustice will fall.” Most of all, you probably remember meeting someone of a different faith and thinking that the world will be a better place if we come together.
We are proud of the groups that have emerged from the Unity Walk, including CAIF (Capital Area Interfaith Friends), which engages middle and high school youth, and the DC Interfaith Network, a group of young professionals working within interfaith contexts.
The most telling feature of the Walk’s success is that we have created family – people of all faiths or no faith, philosophies and culture who now consider themselves friends. As family, we should strive to keep the Unity Walk spirit alive, and we encourage you to seek out interfaith and service opportunities in future. The 9/11 Unity Walk website will remain up as a resource and record.
Please email Kyle Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Thank you again.
9/11 Unity Walk Board
Service & Outreach
People of all faiths put aside differences to serve others
Friendships are created when people come together for service projects on the walk and year-round. Projects have included:
- Gleaning – Packaging surplus produce for DC Central Kitchen and Capital Area Food Bank with Day to Serve
- Make Meals – Preparing meals for homeless individuals in Washington DC with MakeSpace
- Trail Mix – Assembling trail mix to be distributed to shelters in DC with the Vatican Embassy and the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge
Capital Area Interfaith Friends (CAIF), an interfaith group of middle school and high schoolers in Montgomery County formed in 2011. This year CAIF has participated in and lead:
- Genocide Awareness event
- Vigil for Sudan
- Women’s Shelter Service
DC Interfaith Network
The DC Interfaith Network is a gathering of young professionals doing faith-based peace work in the DC metro area, dedicated to network-building, sharing best practices and opportunities. We meet monthly for themed discussions. Interested in learning more? Contact us