Saturday, February 16, 2013

Higher Ground

A drum circle kicked off the program
 Alicia Philipp is amazing and if you live in the Atlanta area and don’t know Alicia’s name then you’ve been living under a rock.  Since 1977 Alicia’s amazing energies and innovative leadership has worked to address issues, challenges and funding of so many great initiatives in Atlanta.  Earlier this month I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation by Higher Ground, a group of retired faith leaders brought together by Alicia.  The group led a discussion on the topic of how religion inspires positive change. 
Alicia making opening remarks
 The program was held at Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.  The Rialto is part of Georgia State University which is significant - the presentation was packed with young students.  I was truly inspired by hearing the faith leaders share their thoughts followed by a Q&A where many young people shared their thoughts, asking lots of questions.  

Alicia was instrumental in bringing together this group of inspired thought leaders, recognizing that throughout Atlanta history faith leaders have worked in concert for the betterment of the Atlanta community and beyond.  Until attending this program I had no idea that Rabbi Rothschild from the Temple was one of the primary authors of the “Atlanta Manifesto” which was published by white clergy during the civil rights movement.  The published work called for schools to remain open rather than closing to avoid desegregation.   Sadly because of the Rabbi’s efforts with Atlanta clergy, the synagogue was bombed.

Higher Ground has been meeting regularly for two years and when asked why this diverse group continues to meet, Emam El-Amin remarked that “God must like diversity.  He put us all on this earth together and that means we should all be working together.”

Hearing the discussion made me proud to be living in a city that works to communicate and connect generations to share stories from the past, discuss challenges of the present, with a focus on the future.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like I would feel proud living in Atlanta as well . .