More than 200 Evanstonians attended an interfaith gathering at Fountain Square on Sunday, November 20, to commit to supporting one another and standing in mutual solidarity with community members who may feel afraid, disrespected, or marginalized as a result of the recent presidential campaign and election.
“Our purpose was to gather as an interfaith witness to pray, sing, draw strength, and provide action steps,” according to Beth Emet The Free Synagogue‘s Rabbi Andrea Coustan London, who spearheaded the event, along with Pastors Daniel Ruen of Grace Lutheran Church and Michael D. Kirby of Northminster Presbyterian Church of Evanston.
For one hour, Evanston’s leaders and residents came together with song, prayer, speech, dance and poetry, and to sign an Interfaith Statement that was handed to Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.
Speakers included Muhammend Saiduzzman of Dar-es-Sunnah Mosque, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Pastor Brian E. Smith of Second Baptist Evanston, Evanston Township High School student Liana Wallace, Rev. Debra K. Bullock, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Tahera Ahmad, associate chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, ETHS superintendent Eric Witherspoon, and Father Robert Oldershaw, St. Nicholas Church.
“We will fight back,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Are we the resistance?” she asked the crowd. “Then we have to resist.”
Daniel Ruen’s Ecumenial Mod Squad Band opened the event and Cantor Andrea Rae Markowitz closed out with the Hebrew song “The whole world is a very narrow bridge; the most important thing is not to be afraid.”
For anyone who missed it, here’s a video of some of the speakers.