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Embracing common humanity


Teaching and promoting a message of peace is important to the Seneca people, says Meg Joseph, executive director of Friends of Ganondagan. And one way to do that, she says, is through an upcoming event, "Breaking Bread, Building Bridges," which is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, at the Seneca Art and Culture Center, 7000 County Road 41, in Victor.

The event will bring together people from different gender, religious, and ethnic communities over a light meal to share personal stories and embrace cultural diversity, Joseph says. Admission is $10 for the general public and $7 for Friends of Ganondagan members.

Talks will be given by Gabrielle Hermosa, a human rights advocate and transgender woman; Mubarak Bashir, director of faith outreach for the local chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; and Lauren Jimerson, a Native American with the Seneca Heron Clan and artist who grew up on the Cattaraugus Reservation.

Joseph says that people want to get to know people from other cultures, but are sometimes afraid of saying the wrong thing or asking an inappropriate question. Sitting down together and sharing a meal is an ancient tradition to dispel those fears and create friendships, she says.