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The Annual Dialog and Friendship Dinner at UMKC

The Annual Dialog and Friendship Dinner on “Promoting & Enhancing Social Responsibility” was held at UMKC Student Union on October 24, 2013 by the Dialog Institute of the Southwest and The Division of Diversity and Inclusion of UMKC.

Starting with a reception at 6.00 p.m. the program was announced open with a welcoming speech of Anne Hartung Spenner, the Vice Chancellor – University of Missouri Kansas City. Followed by the remarks of Rev. Dr. Chuck Rolen about his intercultural and interfaith trip to Turkey, and the necessity to gather around dialog and friendship activities, the program continued with an invocation by Rev. Dr. Robert Lee Hill, and the dinner accompanied by a live music, where people of diverse backgrounds had a chance to know one-another and build new friendships.

The keynote speaker of the day Dr. Scott Alexander, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago touched the role of the dialog in promoting and enhancing social responsibility in our globalizing world; and mentioned about Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement (also known as Gulen Movement) in that regard.

After the keynote speech, Eve Levin, PhD., Professor of History, University of Kansas shared her remarks; and a calligraphy show by Aydin Cayir, Calligraphy Master from Istanbul, Turkey was performed.

At the end of the event, was held an award ceremony where the Community Leadership Award went to Ed Eilert, Johnson County Chairman; the Outstanding Public Service Award to John M. Douglass, Chief of Police Overland Park; the Outstanding Education Service Award to Wanda J. Blanchett, PhD., UMKC Dean of Education.

In comparison with previous annual dinners, this year organizers also awarded 2013 Art Contest Winners and their artworks were displayed for a silent auction. The 10th Annual Dialog and Friendship Dinner was finalized with closing remarks by Greg Rieke, Chair of Advisory Board, Dialogue Institute of the Southwest who thanked the guests for dedicating their precious time and for their contributions in building a better future embraced with peace and harmony.

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