Dr. Guibord, A Giant in Our Community

Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord was one of NewGround‘s first friends, because she was one of those who possessed knowledge about the absolute need for community building. She knew it was a prerequisite to a pluralistic society, and she had faith that Los Angeles would become just that.

Dr. Guibord was correct in her projections. Los Angeles is increasingly showing its communal, interfaith colors, and she was a key player in the the process. She attended press conferences, supported interfaith events, and protested injustices alongside her fellow Angelenos. She founded The Guibord Center as a means to organize around her pluralistic ideals, and made her mark on our City through dedication to them.

NewGround thanks Dr. Guibord for everything we have learned from her. She is survived by her partner, Dr. Lo Sprague, and her legacy, which lives on in The Guibord Center.

June 21, 2019 Comments are off admin

Cooking up Connections, and more news.

Our 2018-19 cohorts have now officially wrapped, Ramadan has concluded with Eid al-Fitr, our Community Iftar was a success, and we continue to witness accelerating social change around the world. Included in this change is that which is taking place in our own communities through the creation and maintenance of relationship-based dialogue.

Our 2018-19 programming may have come to a close these past few weeks, but the work of our fellows and MAJICians continues to push them to strengthen bonds, address social issues, and contribute to the birth of a healthier and more empathetic society. They’re doing that in a multitude of different ways, and their official Change-maker projects (of which “Cooking up Connections” is the most recent) are just the beginning.

Watch: A Muslim-Jewish Call for Conversation on Mental Health

Watch: Seeds of Partnership, or the Sardari & Moradi Story

Watch: Cooking up Connections, or Muslims & Jews Chat with Refugee Chefs in Southern California

April 23, 2019 Comments are off admin

State of the City 2019

This past week saw the City of Los Angeles bring underway the annual State of the City, during which Mayor Eric Garcetti outlines the strifes, successes, and recent experiences of our city as well as plans intended to improve the lives of Angelenos.

This year, NewGround board member Nurya Shabir, from the Islamic Center of Southern California, and Rabbi Jocee Hudson, from the Temple Israel of Hollywood, were invited to give the invocation speech at the ceremony. You can watch their full address, in accompaniment with the entire event itself, below.

March 22, 2019 Comments are off admin

Christchurch, New Zealand

On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist killed 51 people across two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was apprehended on his way to a third. We have been left shaken, angry, saddened, and disillusioned. We have also been left needing one another even more than before.

Our hearts, minds, and strifes are with those affected by these attacks. We are always with you and we always here for you. We would like to voice our love and support for the Muslim community everywhere and the people of New Zealand. Our program co-directors, Andrea Hodos & Tasneem Noor, have some words to share with you:

Amid the intensifying conversation taking place on Representative Ilhan Omar… We felt it important to host an event for our alumni to come together and share how they were feeling about the controversies surrounding  Congresswoman Omar’s comments. In these times, it is often easier to avoid the hard conversations, so it becomes essential to reconvene and keep ourselves from splitting off from one another.

We figured perhaps ten people would join us; it was last minute, and the middle of the week. We ended up with over 20 participants, barely fitting in the living room we were hosted in. At the moment when it might have been easier to avoid the conversation, our alumni came together to listen deeply to one another.

In the midst of our conversations, one of our alumni checked her phone and realized what was happening in New Zealand.

As we begin another week here at NewGround, our team is thinking of the families mourning in New Zealand. We are also thinking about how our emphasis on understanding and plurality becomes more relevant by the day. As Aziza reminds us, “Our destiny is intertwined and we should act like it.”

This work will not be as fast as we want it to be. It never is. Still, we are grateful that even in the midst of it all, our connections and solidarity are stronger than the forces of hatred, fear, and violence. 

Please take care of yourself, and know that your NewGround family is here for you. Please continue to reach out to others, and reach out to us, as well.