Last Wednesday, the Richmond Peace Education Center celebrated and recognized individuals who have been crucial to the success of our organization. The annual Member Dinner brings us together to appreciate our members and volunteers. During this event, we also honor our Peacemakers of the Year. We are deeply grateful to everyone who joined us in thanking Annette and Malik Khan for all they have done to improve our community. This event was completely sold out, and this speaks volumes about the importance of the Khan’s years of work, and the support the Peace Center garners from our community.
This year’s Member Dinner featured a traditional Iftar Dinner. The meal was preceded by a program that included speeches by a number of RPEC members, board, and staff. Among them were:
Rob Gabriele, Board Chair
Adria Scharf, Director
Medha Majety, Youth Board Member
We had the honor of hosting two of our Peace Essay Contest winners, Marya Khan and Khadijah Ahmad, both of whom traveled from Northern Virginia with other family members to be with us. They were a crowd favorite, as they read their winning essays from the podium.
Before Annette and Malik Khan received the Peacemakers of the Year award, their friends and colleagues had a chance to recognize their dedication and work towards creating a more peaceful world. Santa Sorenson shared a number of comments about Malik and Annette that others had sent to her, a tribute to how much they have influenced and inspired those around them. Mona Siddiqui spoke about how Annette and Malik model positive values through teaching others and serving as positive role models in their daily lives. Alex Keisch shared the story of how he and Malik met and became friends. He quoted Elie Wiesel, saying, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference,” and he finished by stating, “Brother Malik and sister Annette are never, never, never indifferent.”
After we heard from both Annette and Malik, Mona Siddiqui discussed the meaning of Ramadan, and individuals of all faiths were then invited to join the Call to Prayer. Everyone broke the fast traditionally, with lentil soup and dates. Peace Center members Raidah Hudson and Rhonda Ligon cooked a meal of roast chicken, orzo salad, and white bean salad, with desserts provided by members of the Peace Center board.
The Peace Center is grateful to everyone who was involved in making this event so special, along with all of our members and our guests.
See below for a few unedited videos from the Member Dinner: