9/11 Unity Walk

Board of Directors 2014-2016

Shama Farooq, Director

Shama Farooq has been involved with the Unity Walk since the first Walk as a representative of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, one of the largest local Muslim congregations.  She is also active in national Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America.  A criminal defense attorney by profession, she completed a Fellowship in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management & Governance through Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.

Cassandra Lawrence, Director

During a trip to Israel/ Palestine in 2000 Cassandra was struck by the ongoing conflict, questioning all her presumptions about religion and conflict. Cassandra studied religion at the University of British Columbia, continuing her studies at Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a masters in comparative ethnic conflict. She wrote her dissertation on Islamic nonviolence in Palestine and was trained in mediation by Mediation Northern Ireland. After completing her studies she worked for AmeriCorps NCCC helping with hurricane’s Katrina and Rita recovery in Louisiana. She led a church youth program in Santa Rosa California for 4 years. Recently, Cassandra relocated to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in conflict transformation, positively integrating religious actors. Cassandra is currently working as a freelance researcher and writer.  She is also writing a journal article about her two months spent in Uganda studying sacred space. She is an active member of DC IN, a interfaith gathering of young professionals.

Patricia Langan, Board Co-Chair & Interim Treasurer

Patricia’s career has focused on building pathbreaking approaches to strategy, programming and fundraising to empower children, youth and women, especially in developing countries.  She current serves as Vice President at Making Cents International, and prior to that served as Managing Director for Unity Productions Foundation (UPF). UPF promotes peace through the media. As Director of Programs at the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Patricia designed and managed IYF’s strategic expansion, built alliances with global corporations such as Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, and Nokia, and developed IYF’s new work in HIV prevention, IT in education, and youth employment and entrepreneurship in the the Middle East and Africa. She has also worked at the World Bank, National Westminster Bank and The Fuji Bank and lived in Japan and Ukraine. As a volunteer, she currently serves as Treasurer of Americans for Informed Democracy, in addition to co-chairing 9/11 Unity Walk. Patricia holds an M.P.P. in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Kyle Poole, Board Co-Chair and 9/11 Unity Walk Founder

Kyle is the Principal Founder of the 9/11 Unity Walk, along with Erik Schwarz who polished and delivered the concept to Embassy Row worship houses, Dan Tutt and Meg Clifford (Poole) who were instrumental in bringing the Walk to reality and hundreds of volunteers from every faith. The real owners of the Walk are the courageous parishioners and leaders of every church, synagogue, mosque, and gurdwara on Embassy Row who agreed to open their doors to each other and host the Walk. Kyle (and Meg ) Poole are also Members of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, one of the world’s largest microcredit organizations, wherein Kyle introduction is responsible for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants totaling $41.8 million. Kyle is former Habitat for Humanity Board Member, and active participant with Aspen Institute and Renaissance Weekends.

Meg Clifford Poole, Director and Board Chair Emerita

Meg has worked at Meridian International Center since 1999 hosting distinguished guests of of the U.S. Department of State.  Since joining Meridian, Meg has worked primarily on the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.  She has designed and implemented 186 programs for over 700 visitors from around the world.  Among other themes, Meg’s programs have focused on inter-faith dialogue, the arts, human trafficking, NGO management and volunteerism. Currently, she is serving as the Director of Meridian’s Global Service Leaders Initiative (GSL), a dynamic international community of interest around service and volunteerism.  GSL campaigns provide opportunities and resources for leaders of volunteer movements around the world to scale volunteerism as a solution to social challenges in their communities.  Prior to settling in Washington, DC, Meg lived in West Africa as a volunteer for the Association for Rural Development, a small indigenous agricultural development organization in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  She earned her Master’s Degree in International Relations from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri and Regent’s College, London. Meg has been active with the Unity Walk since 2006, serving as the organization’s first Board Chair and spearheading the development of 9/11 Unity Walk’s Interfaith Youth Action Group pilot program.

Dominique & Mike Rychlik, Co-Directors of Community Building and Outreach

The experience of  Dominique and Mike’s family walking on the Unity Walk crystallized for them an emerging sense that there is no more important work than interfaith work. They have since put their volunteer energies there: now they are now the Directors of Community Building and Outreach for 9/11 Unity Walk, heading the Steering Committee and serving on its Board of Directors. They were also moved by Eboo Patel’s vision for Interfaith Service—that service and caring for those in need is at the heart of ALL faith traditions and a natural way to connect and learn about one another. As a result of their experience on the Walk, their own children have organized an Interfaith Youth Action Group (IYAG), along with about 15 other families. Capital Area Interfaith Friends (CAIF) consists of middle and high School youth who meet regularly for service projects (such as preparing meals and eating with the homeless), and to learn about each others’ faiths, together with their families. Dominique worked with the homeless as a social worker for many years and has been a practicing Real Estate Agent since 2002. Mike is a music teacher. They have three children, Luke, Nicholas and Julia who love coming to the Walk and doing interfaith service!

Erik Schwarz, Director

Erik is Managing Partner of Interfaith Works and Co-Director of the Institute for Faith & Service. Erik is also Episcopal Chaplain at the Washington Home and Hospice.  Previously he was on staff at the InterFaith Conference and at the Washington National Cathedral, and he has studied and taught world religions at Amherst College and American University. Erik is active with the Board of Hands On New Orleans, the Abhaya Academy, and the Ecumenical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.  He has served on the Board of United Religions Initiative DC, the Executive Committee for the National Days of Youth Service, and the Interreligious Council.  He also has private sector experience in art services and has worked for the US Senate as a legislative aide. Interfaith Works is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit consultancy based in Washington DC and New Orleans LA, specializing in the creation of socially entrepreneurial partnerships and projects among a wide range of faith communities and other groups.  The Institute for Faith & Service is a new collaboration launched by Interfaith Works and the Points of Light Foundation.  The Institute resources interfaith partnerships and projects on a national and global basis.  It also seeks to establish faith-based and service work in the national and global policy conversation via think-tank activities.

Wade Wallace, Director

Wade Wallace is the Pastor of Community of Christ located on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC.  Community of Christ is committed to following Jesus Christ and bringing care and ministry to all people. Its desire to “abolish poverty and end suffering” has resulted in it partnering with Friendship Place, a non-profit organization that helps the homeless. For five winters Community of Christ housed a hypothermia shelter for up to 25 homeless women. Prior to becoming a pastor, Wade held a variety of management positions at Verizon Wireless, Gateway, and MCI Telecommunications. Wade and his wife Ann have two sons.

Board of Directors Emeritus

Hazami Barmada

Seth Green

Marcus DuBois King

Kendra Kosko

Kalsoom Lakhani

Daniel Tutt

Rukmini Walker



© 2018   9/11 Unity Walk is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.