MONDAY, JUNE 13: Reach across racial lines with Bahai’s today, and work for oneness on Race Unity Day. Baha’is will find lots of allies for the observance this year, because it’s also the bicentennial of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s birthday.
Baha’i founder Baha’u’llah asked his followers to “Close your eyes to racial differences and welcome all with the light of oneness;” the Baha’i faith today continues to place racial unity at top priority. Since the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States inaugurated Race Unity Day in 1957, Baha’is have gathered on the second Sunday of June to promote interracial communication and comprehension. (Read more from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States.) Baha’u’llah preached of humanity as a single race, and Baha’is believe racial prejudice is the most difficult moral issue facing America today.
More recently, the U.S. Baha’i council issued a call-to-action statement: “A Vision of Race Unity: America’s Most Challenging Issue.”
Illinois, the home base of President Obama, remains particularlly attuned to this observance. The Illinois Times has an article on racial unity. Since 1991, Race Unity Day events have increased in number due to the statement, including the annual Race Unity Rally in Springfield.
Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.