One America Philly Project
The One America Movement's goal is to heal divisiveness in American society. Our programming brings people together across religious, racial, political and cultural divides to work together on a community service project, have a meal together and have a conversation together.
For instance, in Washington DC in May, we brought together Jews, Muslims and evangelical Christians to serve together at a men's shelter, have a meal catered by Syrian refugees and have a 2.5 hour conversation about religion, politics, poverty and the isolated "bubbles" we increasingly find ourselves living in.
We are scheduling a similar project in Philadelphia, working currently with a synagogue, an evangelical Christian church and at least one Mosque. Our goal is to again have the meal catered by Syrian refugees, both to support those refugees in meeting their basic living expenses and also to further our work to promote respect and inclusion for all people living in the US.
After all, one of the key goals of One America's work is to reduce bigotry and prejudice against religious and racial minorities by bringing them into contact with Americans who may not otherwise have had contact with those groups. Forming personal relationships across those divides can not only reduce prejudice among the participants themselves, it can create "ambassadors" who return to their own communities with new perspectives and a willingness to share those perspectives with their peers.
This is supported by social science research: one 2017 study indicates that one of the leading indicators of whether or not a person "likes" a particular religious group is whether or not they personally know a member of that group. But less than half of Americans say they personally know a Muslim.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (July 2017)