Talker interviewed this morning by ABC World News Tonight outside Merchants Grill. And Nazareth’s Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue

Talker interviewed this morning by ABC World News Tonight outside Merchants Grill. And Nazareth’s Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue

Frank Williams interviewed by ABC World News Tonight outside Merchants Grill (881 Merchants Road) 1/1/16

Ever desirous to get you the story first, Talker was at the Merchants Grill at its 1130a.m. New Year’s Day opening. There, by coincidence, an ABC World News Tonight crew was interviewing people in the neighborhood about the arrest yesterday of Emmanuel Lutchman. Lutchman apparently targeted Merchants for a New Year’s Eve attack. (To be aired tonight 6:30p.m.)

Frank Williams passingly knows Lutchman, who occasionally hung out at Merchants. Frank also talked about the many immigrants who live in the neighborhood. Frank said he welcomed refugees to Rochester, but also felt some anxiety following Mufid Elgreeh’s guilty plea to recruiting for ISIS and now Lutchman’s arrest. Frank worries about who might be trying to blend in. As he said, you never know.


with ABC World News Tonight crew outside the Merchants Grill, 1/1/16 [photo: Frank Williams]

In my interview, I explained I had come to Merchants to show solidarity as part of a story on the ongoing work of Nazareth College’s Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies & Dialogue and its director, Dr. Muhammad Shafiq.

I told the crew about the Center’s message of non-violence and interfaith understanding. Acknowledging anxieties felt by people like Frank, I knew that Center members, friends and supporters were also troubled by the event, fearful that the actions of a lone, marginal and disturbed individual might in some way be seen to represent Islam.

Events like this can actually provide an opportunity. In this case, to tell just a little about the Hickey Center. With more to come.

You first met Dr. Shafiq and some of his students in At the 2015 World’s Parliament of Religions, the story of a trip to Salt Lake City to further spread the interfaith message. sl cuity

In  Nazareth College’s first “Mini Chautauqua” opens a new conversation on an old theme: nurturing planet Earth/ you learned more about the Center’s commitment to building a sustainable world with wisdom drawn from a wide range of religious traditions.


Optimistic about saving A Planet in Peril; Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, myself, Maggie Matthews, Hickey Center Student Co-Ordinator


the Islamic Center, Westfall Road in Brighton

And, in “Holocaust by Bullets” from Nazareth College , you read about a class at Nazareth, who as part of wider project, visited the Islamic Center in Brighton.

Also on Nazareth:

Nazareth College’s President Daan Braveman on defining moments and his own March on Washington, August 1963

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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