United in Tradition

An enthusiastic audience at the Memorial Auditorium during the first annual A Call for Unity event.

An enthusiastic audience at the Memorial Auditorium during the first annual A Call for Unity event.

On the first anniversary of September 11, we had a choice to make. We could have chosen anger, hatred, or intolerance. We could have focused on our differences and let them keep us apart. Instead, we chose to celebrate those things that make us different and unique. We chose to show respect, appreciation and tolerance for others. We did this by bringing a diverse range of people together on one stage to share words, music, and hope for a better world. Beyond the beautiful music, A Call for Unity asks you to look further and deeper than the immediate issues where we may not agree. We ask you to put aside differences and find the humanity that joins us together. If we can agree that all deserve the opportunity to be heard, then we can get together and listen. From there, anything can happen. That is the simple premise behind A Call for Unity.

Several years ago, following the first A Call for Unity concert, we came together to build homes with Habitat for Humanity in a Sacramento neighborhood. We chose not to focus on our differences but instead to look for areas of agreement so we could work together.

On September 17, not only will we experience extraordinary performances onstage from artists and friends from the Sacramento area but the audience will be part of the experience. More than 1,000 individuals will come together to watch people from their community sing and dance. Their contributions will support Habitat for Humanity, so more homes can be built for Sacramento-area families.

On September 17, Sacramentans will make a conscious choice to look for common ground. Our A Call for Unity event has continued for four years running. This Sunday, you will see a Muslim performer share the stage with Jewish performers. You will also hear the music of a gospel group, a Scientology choir, Native American musicians, East Indian dancers, and an interfaith church choir. These musicians will add their voices to our call for unity.

There will be beautiful music onstage. However, the best music will be coming from the 1,400 audience members who have made a choice to celebrate unity and diversity; who want to support efforts to make our community one of the most diverse and integrated communities in America. Your presence will show your support for the message of celebrating diversity and building unity. Join us as we enjoy an event that brings a message of hope, faith and unity.