Bahai News - Baha'i group celebrates humanity
Baha'i group celebrates humanity
By Nancy Cicco, email@example.com
ELIOT, Maine - Believers of the tenet "All is one" observed Race Unity Day
on Sunday with a variety of activities held at the Green Acre Baha'i School
In accordance with the Baha'i spiritual tradition, about 50 members of the
faith's Seacoast community came together to celebrate "the consciousness of
the oneness of humankind," said James Sacco, the director of administration
for the national school and conference center on Route 103.
The event's guest of honor was Seacoast artist Richard Haynes, who received
the 2001 Vision of Race Unity Award.
Bestowing the honor upon the 51-year-old Portsmouth resident were
members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Exeter, N.H.
Haynes was honored because of his work "striving to heal the wounds
of racism," said assembly member Phyllis Ring. Haynes accomplishes this
both through his artwork and his volunteer efforts with the Portsmouth
branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
and the community at large, she said.
"With service at the forefront of all his efforts, he demonstrates
his passionate commitment to unity in many different ways. But the most
notable is the one guaranteed to reach both minds and hearts — and
that is the arts," Ring said.
Haynes' latest exhibit was displayed last month at The Music Hall in
His vibrant illustrations of people at work and play are often
rendered in caran dache, an oil- and wax-based crayon applied to paper.
Haynes, who settled in Portsmouth some 12 years ago, appeared
overwhelmed by the honor.
He reflected on years of financial and personal struggle while
attempting to establish himself as an artist.
"There have been many times I wanted to give up, but my wife said
continue," he said. "Art was more than being an exhibitor ... it was
about delivering a message to mankind."
Also speaking at the event was LeNise Jackson Gaerter, the founder of
Mothers for Race Unity and Equality.
Drawing upon a host of world events, she paid tribute to a variety of
American leaders who have worked to promote unity among people
She also spoke of scientific advances that may yet prove that all
races stem from surprisingly similar origins.
The afternoon included songs from blues master T.J. Wheeler's Funky
River Band, a group of talented Seacoast youth now studying under
Rounding out the event, Redfeather, an American Indian now living in
Epping, led participants in a "closing circle."
In the ritual, participants come forth with prayers and pay homage to
the creator of the universe.
©Copyright 2001, Portsmouth Herald
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