October 27, 2015, Washington D.C. Rumi forum held its 9th Annual Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards at the National Press Club, with approximately 100 people in attendance.
The event kicked off with a reception, with guests networking. Jena Luedtke, Director of Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue at the Rumi Forum welcomed the guests and shared the history and mission of the Rumi Forum and its role in “fostering intercultural dialogue, education, democracy and peace”. Thomas Burr, Vice President of the National Press Club gave brief remarks, followed by Emre Celik, President of Rumi Forum.
Among the distinguished guests were Michael Shank, Director of Media Strategy at Climate Nexus in New York; Ronny Lancaster, Senior Vice President for Government Relations at Assurant Inc.; Dr. Jack Goldstone, Non-Resident Fellow at Brookings Institution.
The keynote speaker for the night was Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. A video presentation was shown, highlighting the activities and contributions of the Rumi Forum through the year.
Ambassador John W. McDonald, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy and Jerry White, Executive Co-Chair of Global Covenant of World Religions each received the “Extraordinary Commitment to Public Service Award”. Jeff Franco, Vice President and Executive Director of City Year and Tad Agoglia, Founder of First Response Team of America.