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The News

This news & events blog highlights recent activities in the DC Bahai community.

Saturday, April 23rd, 4:00 - 5:30 pm at  Rankin Chapel (map), Howard University. 

Please join the Baha'i community of the greater DC metropolitan area to commemorate 'Abdu'l-Baha’s historic visit to Rankin Chapel, Howard University and His address on Race Unity - the most vital and challenging issue facing America. More details to follow.

In 1912, the country was torn with racial division, and “separate but equal” was the highest level of interracial relations to which the nation aspired. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá challenged America to go beyond tolerance, to embrace diversity completely, and to demolish racial barriers in law, education and even marriage.  

To learn more about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's approach to race unity, please visit:

For more background on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's visit to Washington DC see: 

'If the heart is pure, white or black or any color makes no difference. God does not look at colors; He looks at the hearts.'  -‘Abdu’l-Baha


 Unite the Hearts
On behalf of the Bahá'ís of Washington, DC, you are invited to "Unite the Hearts," an engaging conversation about fostering racial healing and the unity of humankind in America. This is a public event held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (Room A-5, on the A level), commemorating the anniversary of `Abdu'l-Bahá's historic visit to Washington, DC in 1912.

The event, which also coincides with the 46th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, will feature a talk by nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author, and presenter Dr. Joy DeGruy (Joy DeGruy Publications/ on the themes of racial unity and the oneness of humankind—calling to mind central themes of one of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's historic talks in Washington, DC.

Dr. Joy DeGruy's talk will be followed by an interactive discussion with the audience and an artistic presentation. Light refreshments will also be provided at the conclusion of the program. 
When: Sat, April 4, 2pm – 4pm 
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001, United States (map) 
(Note: Sign language interpretation will be provided)

Student groups at Georgetown University welcome area citizens to join them in supporting the global campaign, "Education is Not a Crime," which supports universal access to higher education in Iran. Panelists will include; Augusto Lopez Claros, Director, World Bank, Global Indicators and Analysis, Jacques Berlinerblau, Director and Professor, Georgetown School of Foreign Service, Winston Nagan, Founding Director and Professor, Institute for Human Rights and Peace Development, University of Florida Levin College of Law, and Mariam Memarsadeghi, Cofounder and CoDirector, Tavaana

This event is free, open to the public and media, and limited to 325 attendees. Program includes a panel and discussion that will follow a screening of a (55-min) film, "To Light a Candle," directed by Maziar Bahari - subject of Jon Stewart's movie Rose Water. Maziar is an Iranian/Canadian journalist, film maker, and human rights activist. Film trailer available here. 

More information is available on the Facebook Event Page.

Tickets and more information can be obtained on the EventBrite Page.

Born in Persia, November 12, 1817, Bahá’u’lláh began at age 27 an undertaking that has gradually captured the imagination and loyalty of several million people from virtually every race, culture, class, and nation on earth. The phenomenon is one that has no reference points in the contemporary world, but is associated rather with climactic changes of direction in the collective past of the human race. For Bahá’u’lláh claimed to be no less than the Messenger of God to the age of human maturity, the Bearer of a Divine Revelation that fulfills the promises made in earlier religions, and that will generate the spiritual nerves and sinews for the unification of the peoples of the world.
-Bahá’í International Community
Please join the Washington, D.C. Baha'i Community in celebrating the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh. 

The program will include readings and musical selections, followed by a catered dinner, potluck dessert and fellowship.  We ask, if the friends are able and wish to contribute, to bring a dessert to share with the community.  

When: Wednesday, November 12th @ 7 pm (Please factor in transportation and parking times, as the program will begin promptly at 7)
Where: Josephine Butler Parks Center (Ballroom) - 2437 15th St, NW, Washington, DC 20009 (MAP)


  To Light a Candle

We are pleased to announce the pre-release screening & panel discussion featuring: Maziar Bahari, Director and subject of Jon Stewart’s upcoming film ‘Rosewater’, Azar Nafisi Professor of English Literature and best selling author of ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’, Parva Fattahi BIHE Graduate and Immigration Lawyer, and Roya Boroumand Executive Director of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation. 

When: Saturday Nov. 15th @ 7:00PM
Where: GWU Marvin Center - 3rd Floor - 800 21 St. NW Washington DC 20052 (MAP)

You can also find a trailer for the film HERE!

All are welcome and no RSVP is required.



Alain Leroy Locke, a Bahá’í, “Dean” of the Harlem Renaissance (1919–34), chair of the Philosophy Department at Howard University, and the first African American Rhodes scholar (1907), will finally be laid to rest on September 13, 2014, at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. Locke was born in 1885 and died in 1954. 


Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth, in Alain L. Locke: Biography of a Philosopher [(University of Chicago Press, 2008) 1] summarize “Locke’s accomplishments” this way:

he was the first African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford (where he wrote on the philosophy of value), he was a leader in the New Negro movement, and he produced a formative commentary on African American literature and the arts. He championed African art as a source of aesthetic inspiration, and his philosophical papers on cultural pluralism, democracy, and value theory influenced readers in diverse fields. He offered personal advice and support to dozens of writers, painters, singers, and others with artistic gifts and ambitions. In addition, he taught for four decades at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he headed the philosophy department, founded the literary magazine and the theater company, and gathered the collection of African art that forms the core of the university’s holding in this field. 

 For more information on this illustrious former Washington DC Baha'i - please see:

Alain Leroy Locke, 1885-1954, Herald of the Harlem Renaissance, Finally Being Laid to Rest

Alain Leroy Locke (Wikipedia Entry) 


"If the heart is pure, white or black or any color makes no difference. God does not look at colors; He looks at the hearts. He whose heart is pure is better."


Please join us for the commemoration of `Abdu’l-Bahá's visit to Rankin Chapel in 1912. `Abdu’l-Bahá was the son of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith and spoke extensively on the topic of racial unity during his journeys in America. He was an avid speaker for fostering race unity among Americans and worldwide.

We will have two speakers, one of which is Ms. Nwandi Lawson, a Howard University graduate in the field of broadcast journalism. She's a Baha'i from Atlanta and has written, hosted, and produced for CNN, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and Georgia Public Broadcasting among others. Our second speaker is Ananda Ewing-Boyd, a young woman from Washington, DC. 

We will also have performances by youth groups and local musicians.

Light refreshments will be provided.
When: May 18th 2014
Program from 4pm-6pm
Where: Howard University, Rankin Chapel - Map: 2455 Sixth St, NW, Washington, DC
Parking on street, accessible by Shaw Metro Station and the 70/79 buses 
Service Project!
Please bring canned goods and lightly used clothing. These will be donated to Martha's Table and Martha's Outfitters respectively.
See for more information!

Please do not bring peanut butter, candy, junk food or soft drinks. They will not be accepted. 

Related Links:

The Festival of Ridvan – those festive, joyous holidays the worldwide Baha’i community celebrates between April 21st and May 2nd every year — provides the occasion for the holiest and happiest days of the Baha’i year.

The Ridvan Festival commemorates the anniversary of the garden sojourn where Baha’u’llah declared his mission outside Baghdad during the twelve days before his banishment to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) in 1863. Baha’u’llah had been exiled to Baghdad ten years earlier in 1853 by a Persian government that feared the rapid spread of his teachings and their progressive impact on society; and now, because his teachings continued to spread and threaten the clerics, Baha’u’llah was being sent into further exile as a result of pressure from that same government.

 In 1912, `Abdu'l-Bahá—the son of the founder of the Bahá'í Faith - visited Howard University’s Rankin Chapel. There, He spoke before a diverse audience, outlining a vision for racial unity and the elimination of prejudices. Please join us for prayers and reflections, providing inspiration for continuing a legacy of working for unity. You can find directions here.

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