Bahai News - Having faith in racial unity: Local Baha'is thank leaders for helping strengthen community ties
MARINA MARTINEZ / Arlington Morning News; 05-20-2001

The Grand Prairie Baha'i Faith Community honored a handful of community leaders Saturday for their efforts to promote racial unity.

The group thanked representatives from the city, NAACP Branch No. 6260 in Grand Prairie, the League of United Latin American Citizens and First United Methodist Church - for helping forge cooperative ties within the community.

"We've come a long way," said Deputy City Manager Don Wilson, one of the four honored during Saturday's banquet. "But we've got a lot more to go. You can't conquer the world in one day. We're not just talking about the Baha'i faith - we're talking about individuals like you and me."

The local Baha'i chapter, which has about 70 members, has had nearly a dozen community meetings over the last year or so to discuss racial unity.

"Religion is supposed to bring everyone together," member Mahrooz Maddela said. "Our main goal is to unify the world."

The four honored Saturday - which also included local NAACP President Ollie Dailey, LULAC secretary Esmerelda Rodriguez and the Rev. Pat Thrasher of First United Methodist Church - stepped up when needed, members said.

"When we ask, 'Can you please help us?' they've done that and so we want to thank them," said Baha'i assembly chairman Roland Maddela. "Even though they're not Baha'i, they still have the same goals."

Mr. Dailey said he found the dialogues helpful.

"You learn things about individuals that you might've not seen, " he said. "It gives you a better perception of where they're coming from."

And such cooperation is crucial to success, Dr. Maddela said.

"One group cannot do it alone," he said.
PHOTO(S): (BRAD LOPER/Staff Photographer) Assembly of
Baha'i of Grand Prairie member Gwen Massey (left) presents

Baha'i writings during a race unity luncheon.

MARINA MARTINEZ / Arlington Morning News, Having faith in racial unity: Local Baha'is thankleaders for helping strengthen community ties. , The Dallas Morning News, 05-20-2001, pp 4Y.

©Copyright 2001, Dallas Morning News

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