Travis Richardson on Islamic Relief USA: Day of Dignity
October 13, 2011
Participating in the Day of Dignity was one of the most rewarding experiences of my Georgetown experience. One of the main reasons I joined the Justice and Diversity in Action floor was for the opportunity to engage my self in learning from the various backgrounds of others, be they religious, linguistic, political, or anything else. Helping with the Day of Dignity, one of the largest Islamic relief events in the country, enlightened me through the realization that people from diverse faith lives can come together to strive for a common goal: in this case, easing the living conditions of the more destitute residents of Washington, D.C.
I must admit that I debated with myself on the morning of October 1st about wearing my crucifix. Would it be offensive? Would it cause psychological barriers to be constructed between my Muslim fellow volunteers and me? Eventually I just tucked my cross behind my shirt and meet up with other JDAers and members of the Interfaith Council to set out on a day of service.
The Day of Dignity truly qualifies as God's wishes being fulfilled, no matter how that god might take form from one person to another. There I was, a Catholic, alongside Muslims and my Buddhist roommate as we served members of my community. I manned the toy-distribution table; the smiling faces of the children made me realize that my efforts were being effective in changing lives for the better.
Now I proudly don my "Islamic Relief" t-shirt (I even wore it TWICE in one week...after washing, of course!) and tell everyone about the amazing fellowship I had with my Muslim neighbors. Thank you, Interfaith Council, for providing Georgetown students with the chance to expand their horizons and embrace other beliefs!