The Interfaith Coalition of Bowie, Bowie State University, and other local leaders will gather with the Bowie community to promote peace and stand together against hateful speech and actions at a “Rally for Peace” on Sunday, March 13. The gathering will take place at Robert V. Setera Amphitheater in Allen Pond Park, at 4 p.m.
Event participants include representatives of the Bowie State University community, which has recently weathered two bomb threats as part of the larger national wave targeting historically Black colleges and universities and other schools; local elected officials; civic leaders; and clergy.
Organizers say that there were multiple events that prompted them to gather to promote peace and denounce hate. In addition to the campus bomb threats, a few residential neighborhoods in the city were the sites of drive-by antisemitic leafleting, similar to incidents seen recently in Annapolis, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and some fifty other communities in seventeen states.
The event will also provide an opportunity for Bowie to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are suffering tremendously as a result of the Russian invasion.
Rabbi Stephen Weisman of Temple Solel in Bowie will emcee the event and is one of its organizers. He spoke of the importance of coming together:
“In my 22 years in this community, I have marveled as Bowie residents have come together in support of each other whenever there has been a need. It is one of the unique and marvelous aspects of living in this city.
Having spoken out against the needless deaths of Black people in our country, and when hate speech was being directed at our Asian neighbors nationally, we now find ourselves needing to support each other in our own community after recent events here and in nearby communities.
While the need saddens me, I am grateful to be part of this community-wide response, proud to stand in solidarity and support as town and gown, as faith communities and the entire Bowie community unite to demonstrate again our city’s strength and resolve when others seek to divide us or cause us harm.”
The City of Bowie is a co-sponsor of this event.