This past Sunday (January 20th, 2019) I had the honor of performing live at a local World Religion Day celebration in Scottsdale, Arizona! It was a beautiful event, with members of a variety of faith backgrounds all coming together to build unity and solidarity, focusing on the theme of women’s empowerment.
World Religion Day was initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and it is often celebrated on the third Sunday of January. The day has been marked by hosting discussions, conferences, and other events which foster understanding and communication between the followers of all religions. Its purpose is to call attention to the harmony of spiritual principles and the oneness of the world’s religions and to emphasize that world religion is the motivating force for world unity.
Just a couple days before the celebration, the Universal House of Justice (the supreme governing body of the Baha’i Faith) issued a letter to the world discussing humanity’s journey towards world peace. Within the letter, there was a snippet that I found particularly relevant to World Religion Day. The Universal House of Justice wrote:
“Fostering unity, by harmonizing disparate elements and nurturing in every heart a selfless love for humankind, is the task of religion. Great possibilities to cultivate fellowship and concord are open to religious leaders, but these same leaders can also incite violence by using their influence to stoke the fires of fanaticism and prejudice. Writing of religion, Baha’u’llah’s words are emphatic: “… make it not”, He warns, “the cause of dissension and strife.” Peace, for “all who dwell on earth”, is one of “the principles and ordinances of God”.”
Amazing, right?! So once again, how beautiful that religious leaders in my community chose to COME TOGETHER to celebrate World Religion Day and advance the discourse on women’s empowerment! I was incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part in the event and to share my music to help bring joy and inspiration to the space.
The first song I performed is called “Nothing But Love”, which is an original creation by my young homie William Amaro (a youth that I’ve known and mentored for several years in my community). It was just his 3rd time performing in front of an audience, so I’m SUPER PROUD of how he rocked the crowd! I’m hoping we can get the song professionally produced soon, as it seems to really resonate with people!
I also performed a song from my latest project, LIT, which is a lyrical remix album. The song is called “Eternal”, and it explores the concepts of aging and the life of the soul. Seeing that virtually all religions teach of a life beyond this earthly one, I thought it would connect with the audience and enrich the event. Based on the crowd reaction, it appears it hit the mark!
Thanks for watching the performances and reading through the blog post! I’d love to hear your thoughts! What did you think of the songs/performances? What are your thoughts on how religion can be used to “nurture in every heart a selfless love for humankind”? Did you participate in any World Religion Day celebrations in your community? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below! 👇😊👇