Red Carpet Bay Area proudly served as a media sponsor for United Religions Initiative 14th Annual Circles of Light Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco on March 25, 2017.
A performance from Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir at United Religions Initiative Circles of Light Gala
Mike Armacost, Bonnie Armacost and The Right Rev. William E. Swing
George Shultz and Mussie Hailu
Renee Tucei, Aggie Murch, Kyle Goldman, Mussie Hailu, Gwinne Berexa, Courtney Rice, Gail Moore and Schuyler Hudak
The event honored a champion of social justice and interfaith leader Rita Semel for more than 60 years dedicated to building bridges of understanding between religious groups. At age 95 she continues her life’s work to alleviate poverty, quell hatred and discrimination and create peaceful communities through URI.
United Religions Initiative builds cultures of peace, justice, and healing through a global network of diverse traditions and religions. Featured guest, URI Regional Director for Africa, Ambassador Mussie Hailu explained, “We all want to live in a family and in a community where there is peace. All religions share a common principle, a golden rule, to treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
The idea for URI came from California Episcopal Bishop William Swing in 1993 when planning the interfaith celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. The grassroots network has grown to 838 member groups in 99 countries.
Scenes from United Religions Initiative Circles of Light Gala:
Michael Pappas, The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr. and Rita Semel
Roselyne Swig and Rita Semel
George Marcus and Charlotte Shultz
Steve Berexa and Gwinne Berexa, Circles of Light Gala Chair
Jane Inch and Schuyler Hudak
Linda Ashcraft Hudak, Courtney Rice and Sally Coates
Kyle Goldman, Ute Bowes and Cricket Jones
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
Red Carpet Bay Area salutes the Circles of Light Gala Committee:
Event Chair: Gwinne Berexa
Committee Members: Suanne Bouvier, Kyle Goldman, Schuyler Hudak, Judy Jorgensen, Irina Kassil, Eve Masonek, Gail Moore, Maura Morey, Muriel Murch, Kristin Olsen, Paige Petrini, Courtney Rice, Rita Semel, Renee Tucei