UNITY EARTH Lift Off & Associated Events

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2019-01-31 3:00 PM

Country: United States
City: New York
UNITY EARTH, a global network of organizations and individuals standing together for unity and peace, recently completed a powerful series of events in New York City to celebrate United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week. Building upon successful gatherings in Ethiopia, Australia and Canada, the series brought together a UNITY EARTH delegation of interfaith and faith-based leaders, peacemakers and diplomats, indigenous elders, academics and musicians for a week of public showcases and community outreach. Highlighting the week was the UNITY EARTH Lift Off, a four hour showcase of peace and interfaith collaboration held at the historic United Palace, a breathtaking spiritual artistry center in Washington Heights. Featuring a diverse line-up of performers and esteemed speakers, the concert and live broadcast was a powerful nexus of culture, creativity, and inspirational stories woven together to celebrate our common humanity. The event attracted approximately 1,000 attendees to the theater and reached over 100,000 online via the Live Stream, promotional videos and related posts. The concert featured a cast of globally-renowned touring artists including BELLA GAIA, a NASA-powered live concert that blends music, technology, and satellite imagery to illuminate our interconnectedness and turn the stage planetary. International artists include British reggae legend Pato Banton and Chinese meditative chanting artist Mystic Voice. The event also featured major NYC-based talents including holistic hip-hop legend Akim Funk Buddha (with his dance troupe the Bonsai Lab), Juilliard-trained vocalist Kristin Hoffmann, and indigenous Caribbean (Taino) & Spanish master percussionist William Ruiz. Guest speakers included Audrey Kitagawa (Parliament of the World’s Religions), Ambassabdor Mussie Hailu (United Religions Initiative), Jonathan Granoff (Global Security Institute), Dr. Mindahi Bastida (Center for Earth Ethics), Syed Salman Chishty (India), Sister Jenna (USA), Ramapough-Lenape Chief Dwaine Perry, Hereditary Dakota Chief Phil Lane Jr and many more. “I commend the organizers of UNITY EARTH for convening such a rich and potent gathering of intertwining lives moving together through the power of our hearts to manifest culture, arts, music, film and speeches in a symphony of goodwill, harmony and joy. The experience served as a remembrance of the creativity of our inherent inner potential to bring forth sublime beauty while simultaneously having transcendence that returns us to the ground of sacred being from which we all arise.” - Audrey Kitagawa, Chair, Parliament of the World’s Religions “It is a great pleasure for United Religions Initiative (URI) to join hands with UNITY EARTH on the occasion of the celebration of the 2019 World Interfaith Harmony Week on the event of UNITY EARTH Lift Off that brought together indigenous leaders, musicians, diplomats, artists, scientists, peace activists, interfaith and faith-based organization representatives along with youth, women and guests of all ages to stand together as unified beacons of hope that yearns for justice, healing, peace, compassion, harmony and the preservation of Mother Earth.” - Ambassador Mussie Hailu, United Religions Initiative (URI) Director of Global Partnership and Representative to the African Union & UN “UNITY EARTH’s celebration in New York for UN World Interfaith Harmony Week was a beautiful tapestry of events. Visiting dignitaries from around the world joined local artists and communities for the pinnacle event - the UNITY EARTH Lift Off - at United Palace on Saturday February 2nd. This event was interfaith, multicultural and intergenerational and all the acts and presentations inspired hope and optimism, amidst the many challenges the global community currently faces.” - Ben Bowler, Executive Director, UNITY EARTH “I wish I was physically present with you today to thank all the co-sponsors for inviting me to participate in this event to celebrate World Interfatih Harmony Week in New York. This week is a very important moment, not only for the United Nations, but everywhere in the world. Events are held in numerous countries to honor religions diversity and interfaith dialogue as essential elements to peaceful and inclusive societies. The UNITY EARTH Lift Off event is of relevance as it celebrates our common humanity despite our differences.” - Adama Dieng, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide ADDITIONAL EVENTS On Thursday Jan 31st, two days before the concert, an international UNITY EARTH delegation visited the High School for Excellence and Innovation in Upper Manhattan, inspiring students and teachers with a message of cross-cultural collaboration and a call to leadership in the world. UNITY EARHT donated instruments to the school’s music program and has kickstarted an innovative Marketing and Mindfulness Program for students to begin in March 2019. The event series continued on Friday Feb 1st with UNITY EARTH New York Convergence, a leadership and visioning conference that brought together over 100 interfaith and faith-based leaders, event producers and more to create increased opportunities for collaboration and impact, with a particular focus on the co-design of the UNITY EARTH Road to 2020 event series. Held at 4W43 near Times Square, the Feb 1st conference came to a climax with the Opening Ceremony for World Interfaith Harmony Week hosted in partnership with Compassion Games and OneSpirit Learning Alliance, as well as local and visiting Indigenous Elders. The Opening Ceremony was broadcast live on social media and distributed via the innovative SINE Network (Synerized Impact Network Exchange). On Monday Feb 4th, the UNITY EARTH delegation was invited by Chief Dwaine Perry to visit the Ramapough-Lenape First Nations community. It was a powerful opportunity for our visiting representatives from many faiths and nations to participate in a time of cultural exchange and connection featuring traditional ceremony led by local elders in collaboration with Hereditary Dakota Chief Phil Lane Jr. On Tuesday Feb 5th, a UNITY EARTH delegation embarked on a pilgrimage to Philadelphia to honor the legacy of Sufi master Hazret Bawa Muhaiyedeen and complete a powerful week of diverse interfaith activities that inspired thousands in person and on social media. ABOUT UNITY EARTH The week was designed as a catalyst for the UNITY EARTH Road to 2020 event series, with the delegation turning to India in November for a 12 day multi-city tour and celebration of interfaith harmony, before embarking on a journey to Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan for United National World Interfaith Harmony Week in February 2020. In September 2020, the series culminates in the Caravan of Unity Across America, a never-before-seen touring showcase of peace and unity beginning in San Francisco and ending in New York City on the International Day of Peace. For more information please visit www.unity.earth