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9th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner & Awards Ceremony

 

The El Paso branch of the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest had the pleasure to host its 9th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner. Around 350 people from different ethnic, religious, and cultural views gathered on Monday, November 10th, at the Camino Real Grand Ballroom.The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Congressman Beto O’ Rourke. The theme was “Giving Back to the Community, the Role of Politicians in Fostering Civic Engagement”. The Dialogue Institute fundraiser for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. This year Dialogue Institute award recipients were Tanny Berg, President of Shalom Group (Community Service Award), Rabbi Larry Bach, Temple Mount Sinai (Interfaith- Dialogue Award), Veronica Escobar, El Paso County Judge (Leadership Award), and KINT, Channel 26, Univision (Media Award).The event ended with a live sand show.

Estela Casas, the anchor from ABC 7, was the mistress of ceremonies for this year’s Annual Banquet and Friendship Dinner.

MEDIA- Please click the following links to see the video and article about this year’s banquet:

CHANNEL 26, UNIVISION:http://www.kint.com/2014/11/11/galardonan-el-trabajo-periodistico-del-equipo-de-noticias-26-univision/

EL PASO TIMES:http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_26895857/friendship-dinner-promote-dialogue-and-community-service

El Pason’s Fighting Hunger Food Bank

This year, The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest choose El Pasoan’s Fighting Hunger Food Bank to be the organization to be benefited by the banquet’s attendees.

Mrs. Sinclair urged attendees to donate by sharing her experiences with people in need. She said that there is no better feeling than to see a child’s hungry stomach full of food and happiness. Mrs. Sinclair’s remarked touched the hearts of many attendees. By the end of the night, Sabri Agachan, Dialogue Institute representative, handed Mrs. Sinclair a check of $3941.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke

Congressman Beto started by thanking the community for allowing him to represent them in D.C. The congressman said: “I’m Incredible grateful for this opportunity”.

“The world can learn a lot of from the El Paso and Cd. Juarez community.  We are the largest bi-national metroplex anywhere in the world. El Paso and Juarez are amazing trade partners, we share cultural values, and are ultimately linked. 3 million people share this valley with limited resources such as water, good air, and land. Even in spite of the historical land problems, resource scarcity, and etc.,  Mexico and the United States have been able to solve their problems through dialogue. By going through courts, agreements, and legal actions we have been able to live in harmony. The point of dialogue is not necessarily of the agreement, but its of understanding. That’s why we hold town-hall meetings, to create dialogue and understanding. In conclusion, the dialogue is fundamental to achieving peace.

Senator Jose Rodriguez

Senator Jose Rodriguez welcomed the guests to the 9th Annual Dinner. He mentioned that the community should celebrate the fact that an inter-dialogue organization such as the Dialogue Institute was actively working to promote dialogue between individuals. He said, “In my eyes, the Dialogue Institute is an organization that is unmatched across the nation”. The Senator also took the time to recognized the award honorees; Tanny Berg, Judge Veronica Escobar, Univision, and Rabbi Larry Bach. The senator talked about his experience in Turkey and how thankful and glad he was to have had the opportunity to go. “We met with academicians, politicians, supreme court members, congressmen, journalists, and members of the chamber of commerce. I can tell you that Turkey is a dynamic, modern, forward -looking country.It is wonderful to see people with different cultures, beliefs, and political views, coming together and involving in dialogue.”

Judge William Moody

Judge Moody gave a few remarks about his trip to Turkey. He said that Turkey was a wonderful nation full of history and passionate people. “We had the opportunity to eat great food, meet wonderful people, and experience beautiful scenery. We went half-way around the world to see a beautiful place. Turkey is the crossroads of the east and west, of cultures, and of the great religions of the world.” Moody said that by going to Turkey, he learn more about Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Scholar, who seeks to promote peace and dialogue. “He has created a movement by unifying the business, educational, political, and religious factions of Turkey, in order to make this a better world.” Moody also mentioned how many people, inspired by Gulen’s movement, put of their time  skills, and love to make this world a better one. “If we can get a bit of inspiration from these people, what a great, great world this would be.”

Host Committee

Jose Rodriguez, Senator, State of Texas

Jacob Prado, Mexico Consul General of El Paso

Dr. William Serrata, President, El Paso Community College

Lily Limon, City Representative, District 7, City of El Paso

Hal Marcus, Artist

Armando Velez, Editor in Chief, El Diario de El Paso

Msgr. Arturo Banuelas, St. Mark Catholic Church

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Silver Sponsors

El Paso Community College

Bronze Sponsors

Temple Mount Sinai

Charles and Ann Horak

Jack Heidemann, Temple Mount Sinai

Table Sponsors

St. Joseph’s Catholic School

El Diario de El Paso

Cathedral High School

El Pasoan’s Fighting Hunger

St. Mark Catholic Church

EPCC Diversity Programs

St. Pius X Catholic Church

Rev. Alberto Cordova

Rep. Lily Limon

Norma Reed

Berg & Salom

Lorena Valles

Friendship Sponsors

Connie Vasquez & Hilda Kelley

Cherry & Les Lieberman

Teresa Fendi

Special Thanks

Estela Casas

Maria Cortes Gonzalez

Dan Lambert

Sr. Elizabeth Swartz

Stephanie Miranda

Gerry Smola

Jorge Guzman

 

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