In May of 1921, the American Bahá’í community hosted a national conference on “race amity” in Washington, D.C. This conference reflected the community’s founding commitment to the cause of racial unity and justice. On the centenary of the 1921 race amity conference, the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs held a virtual symposium, [Advancing Together: Forging a Path toward a Just, Inclusive and Unified Society](https://sites.google.com/view/advancing-together/home?authuser=0), for people of diverse backgrounds to reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice in our nation. This session will be a conversation with the symposium’s organizers from the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public reflecting on their efforts to contribute to the national discourse on racial justice and unity. The conversation will center around the office’s Advancing Together Symposium, called by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States in 2017. The symposium represented a milestone in the office’s efforts to contribute to this discourse. The conversation will touch on the planning of, and vision for, the symposium, major insights emerging from it, and place the symposium within the office’s broader race unity efforts.
PJ Andrews co-coordinates the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs collaboration with individuals, organizations, and agencies in the U.S. engaged in public discourses and policy advocacy directed toward racial justice and racial unity. Prior to joining the office in 2017, PJ worked in ethical culture development for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), in government relations for national service programs with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), as a case manager for U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and supported the work of the International Teaching Centre at the World Center of the Bahá’í Faith in Haifa, Israel. PJ holds a M.Ed in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in American Studies from Tufts University.
May Lample co-coordinates the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs collaboration with individuals, organizations, and agencies in the U.S. engaged in public discourses and policy advocacy directed toward racial justice and racial unity. Prior to joining the Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs in 2017, May worked in health education and community mobilization for Southeastern Health, in maternal health research for Kimanya Ngeyo in Uganda, and in global discourse on the equality of women and men for the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity in Israel. May has a Master’s Degree in Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health from University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Political Science from Haverford College.
Kenneth E. Bowers currently serves as Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States. Prior to being elected to the National Assembly, he served as an appointed member of the National Teaching Committee, the principal arm of the National Assembly, acting as its Secretary for nearly 10 years. Until 1991, Mr. Bowers owned and operated a business in Atlanta. He is the author of *God Speaks Again*, an introductory book about the Bahá’í Faith. Ken and his wife, Mojgan, make their home in Wilmette, Illinois, in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.