Rumi Forum Richmond Chapter and American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA) organized “5th Annual Peace and Dialog Dinner” on Nov 19, 2014 at the University of Richmond (UR) with theme of “Ending Poverty”.

The keynote speaker of the program was Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Ms. Shannon Taylor. In her speech, Attorney Taylor said “I am confident that from tonight, we will all be a bit more wiser on the subject matter, not judge one another, and continue to collaborate to ensure that all citizens have a HOME to return to at the end of the day.” She also touched the importance of dialogue dinner by saying “I believe that (different thoughts) is what this Forum is about. Intelligent discussion about matters of which we may know little about.”

The MC of the program was Dr. Pat Amann, a retired a professor from UR. Pat, first, invited Ms. Jena Luedtke, the Director of Interfaith and Intercultural Affairs at Rumi Forum, for the welcoming speech. Ms. Luedtke shared the goals and vision of Rumi Forum. Rev. Dr. Craig Kocher, Chaplin-UR, offered the prayer before the dinner.

Mr. Adam Lee, special agent in charge Richmond FBI, thanks the Forum for inviting him and gave a brief about his office. Dr. Don Ziegler from Old Dominion University was the guest speaker of the program. Dr. Ziegler told that he was truly fascinated with his current dialog trip to Turkey with the Richmond group. He wrote a poem about his trip experiences and shared the poem with the guests at the dinner.

The U.S. Senator Mark Warner’s message was read by Mr.Andrew Densmore. In the message, Sen. Warner expressed his appreciation about Rumi Forum as Forum promotes intercultural dialogue and education. The final remarks of the program was made by Ms. Karen Stanley, CEO of CARITAS, and she gave a brief about the four areas that CARITAS is actively contributing to the society. At the end, Mr. Rob McAdams, a professor for UR’s art department, announced the winners of the art contest.

Top 5 winners of the art contest are:

1st Place: Berkley Oglesby; Title: Finding a Roof Over his Head, Henrico High School Art Teacher: Genevieve Dowdy

2nd Place: Oakleigh Hoog, Lending a Hand, Atlee High School, Art Teacher: Erik Lesie

3rd Place: Olivia Dunham; Title: Reaching; Henrico High School; Art Teacher: Mary Scurlock

4th Place: Shannon Hons; Title: Poverty Scars; Atlee High School; Art Teacher: Julie Fisher

5th Place: Brittney Ricker;  Title: Belize It; Attlee High School; Art Teacher: Julie Fisher.



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