Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square

Faith-forward Leaders United by Virtue

Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square is a diverse coalition of Dallas’ faith leaders, dedicated to service, hope and a shared vision of peace and justice for our North Texas community. Faith Forward Dallas leads our virtue initiative and serves as a moral compass for the community.

Our mission is to foster and sustain the multi-faith fabric of our community by celebrating diversity and building strong relationships. We offer support, solidarity and a voice for those without a voice through civic engagement and educational partnerships.

When our community needs us the most, we provide crisis management to maintain structured communication and assist in the grieving and healing process. We’re currently developing Character Building 101, a curriculum to help foster virtue. We also engage international visitors and welcome them into an atmosphere of hospitality, belonging and compassion.

Organization and MEMBERSHIP

Learn more about the organization of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square and become a member.

FAITH FORWARD DALLAS AT THANKS-GIVING SQUARE MISSION

Our mission is to foster and sustain the multi-faith fabric of our community by celebrating diversity and building strong relationships. We offer support, solidarity and a voice for those without a voice through civic engagement and educational partnerships.

PROGRAMS & Initiatives

Current initiatives include the community response to legal asylum seekers with Dallas Responds and conversations around housing solutions, racial equity, and gun violence.  Other programs include opportunities for civic engagement and prayer vigils on major concerns.

PAST EVENTS & PROGRAMS
  • Community Tree of Remembrance Service | December 21, 2016
  • Community Tree of Remembrance Service | December 1, 2016
  • UN Day Celebration | October 26, 2016
  • Compassion Walk September 21, 2016
  • Keeping the Faith: An Interfaith Dialogue on Women & Religion in North Texas | September 6, 2016
  • Dallas Remembers: Charleston — One Year Later | June 17, 2016
  • Allen Brooks Remembrance Day | March 2016
Participation
  • Dr. Rev. Michael W. Waters: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s “Moving Forward Together: Less Talk, More Action” solutions-based town hall forum | July 17, 2016
  • Rabbi Andrew Paley, Imam Omar Suleiman: Dallas police memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center | July 13, 2016
  • Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, Bishop TD Jakes, Rabbi David Stern, Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker, Imam Omar Suleiman: Multi-faith prayer vigil at Thanks-Giving Square | July 8, 2016
  • Mayor’s Iftar Dinner event at Dallas City Hall | June 21, 2016
  • Dallas to Orlando, a Vigil for Those Lost on 6/12 — Prayer Vigil & Press Conference | June 13, 2016
  • Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, Rabbi Andrew Paley: National Day of Prayer Luncheon | May 6, 2016
  • Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s 21st Annual Prayer Breakfast | February 23, 2016
2020 Large Group Meeting Dates:

Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am | Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Tuesday, January 14th
Monday, March 16th
Monday, May 18th
Monday, July 13th
Monday, September 21st
Monday, November 16th

2020 Leadership Council Meeting Dates:

Time: 10:00 am to 11:30 am | Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Monday, February 24th
Monday, April 6th
Monday, August 10th
Monday, October 5th

The Spark

May 3, 2015: Two attackers were killed before they could enter the “First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas. After this event, individuals from The Thanks-Giving Foundation and its Interfaith Council realized there was no well-organized group of faith leaders to provide a coordinated message to the community after a civic emergency.

Conversations began with Dr. Robert Hunt at Southern Methodist University. Upon his recommendation, we connected with Rev. Bob Roberts of Northwood Church in Keller — leader of the most robust interfaith ministry in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. With the guidance of Hunt and Roberts, we clarified the nature and purpose of a new group to be formed.

THE FIRST MEETING

Between June 2015 and August 2015, representatives from Thanks-Giving Square met individually with faith leaders from across the Dallas region. Each was personally invited to participate in a new multi-faith task force initiative. On September 10, the initiative was shared with Vana Hammond (Chief of Community in Dallas Mayor Rawling’s office) with the idea that a multi-faith task force could become a liaison between the Mayor’s office and faith groups during times of crisis.

The first meeting, “One Community, Many Faiths” occurred on September 16, 2015 with 24 clergy attending from regional congregations. After a dialogue facilitated by Rev. Bob Roberts, the group came to an agreement that a multi-faith task force is a valid and necessary next step. The task force — which later chose the name “Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square” — became active through planning meetings and began responding to community needs immediately.

THE FIRST YEAR
  • September 16, 2015: Our first meeting, “One Community, Many Faiths” was held.
  • October 9 & 10, 2015: Armed protests occur at several local mosques.
  • November 17, 2015: Rabbi Andrew Paley hosts an all-day planning retreat at Temple Shalom, with Dr. Robert Hunt and Rev. Bob Roberts facilitating.
  • December 13, 2015: In response to protests against mosques in Dallas a statement on behalf of the Multi-Faith Task Force is created, signed and released to the media and at a press conference organized by the Islamic Association of North Texas.
  • March 4, 2016: The Multi-Faith Task Force participates in the Allen Brooks remembrance and provides a statement to the press on the event.
  • April 2, 2016: A protest organized by BAIR occurs at Mosque #48 in South Dallas. Multi-Faith Task Force leaders are there. Two days later, on the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the task force — along with collaborating interfaith organizations — makes a joint statement to the press at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center denouncing the cowardly armed protest of the mosque.
  • April 27, 2016: With the guidance of Ruth Fitzgibbons and Linda Osgood from the Richards Group, the name “Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square” is adopted. The tag line, “Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice” is added shortly after.
  • June 12, 2016: Representatives of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square speak at the press conference and at the vigil after the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. They present the joint statement from many faith leaders at the Cathedral of Hope Resource Center.
  • June 17, 2016: Thanks-Giving Square hosts “Dallas Remembers Charleston One Year Later: A Celebration of Unity and Faith”
  • June 21, 2016: Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square leaders participate in the Mayor’s Iftar Dinner at Dallas City Hall.
  • July 8, 2016: After the police shootings in Dallas, Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square leaders participate in the Mayor’s Multi-Faith Prayer Vigil at Thanks-Giving Square.
  • July 12, 2016: Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square leaders are seated with the Dallas City Council at the Dallas police memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Faith Forward Dallas leads prayers on stage prior to President Obama’s remarks.
  • August 15, 2016: Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square meets with the Dallas Arts District, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Compassionate DFW regarding promoting compassion and art.
  • August 17, 2016: The Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square Coordinating Committee conducts a strategic planning meeting at Temple Shalom.
  • October 26, 2016: The United Nations Association Dallas Chapter recognizes the collaboration of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings at the 71st UN day Celebration.
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