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Potluck for Peace

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    Project Feast and the Interfaith Community Sanctuary brought together people from a diversity of backgrounds for deep facilitated dialogue, music, food, and conversation to inspire a shift in mentality that will ripple out to create a more compassionate and welcoming culture.
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    Veena Prasad at Potluck for Peace
    "Welcoming is really important to me. How to welcome is something we need to help people with. Bringing people together with food creates a platform for international exchange where they are able to interact with one another on an equal footing." - Event co-organizer Veena Prasad
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    Jamal Rahman at Potluck for Peace
    "The best way to overcome polarization is to come to know the other on a human level. Listen, respect, connect. It doesn't matter what the difference is, religious, political, cultural, racial, if a friendship develops now it no longer looms as a threat." - Jamal Rahman
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    "This is humans doing it right. Getting together over food, music and moving together, that's what is fundamental." - Michael Douglas
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    “Our discussion revolved around what it means to be human. We wanted to help people realize that we are united in our common humanity above all else. Whatever our backgrounds, we all have challenges, and needs, dreams and aspirations in common.” - Veena Prasad
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    Marwa Sadik at Potluck for Peace
    "I believe for a community member or refugee to feel welcomed is by seeing that people are informed and respect their culture. This helps them feel less alienated in a new environment and that their culture and beliefs are welcomed." - Marwa Sadik
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    Everyone was encouraged to bring a dish to share from their home country or something that represents their identity.
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    Taghreed Mahmood at Potluck for Peace
    "I believe food brings people together. Food is my language. Sharing food means love, because food is love." - Taghreed Mahmood
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    "It is important to welcome to create connection, to create a bond. To let the other person know that they are valued and that you see them, you honor and respect them." - Paul Kramer

Potluck for Peace was one of more than 350 Welcoming Week events in 2016 in communities across the country. 

The event was a collaboration between between Interfaith Community Sanctuary & School and Project Feast, two organizations based in the greater Seattle area who recognize that for newcomers to fully succeed in this country, they need more than a job: they need a welcoming community.

"We hope our Welcoming Week event will inspire others and that participants will continue the discussion on Facebook. We could make this a 500-person event in a year or two, and it could inspire broader change in our community," said co-organizer Veena Prasad.

Learn more about Welcoming Week, and how you could host an event in your community.

All photos by Sarah Gilbert