The Rochester Baha’i community was incorporated in 1957. In 1997 the Rochester Baha’i community started with 90 Baha’is meeting in one another’s homes to discuss topics ranging from environmental issues to raising healthy children to progressive revelation, finding ways to service humanity and eventually had its own Center that same year located at 693 East Avenue.
Most recently, there will be a free documentary feature film screening with open discussions afterwards open to the public on Saturday, September 9th from 7-9 p.m. of Changing the World, One Wall at a Time, a feature film on Education Is Not A Crime – the world’s largest street art and human rights campaign, which raises awareness about education apartheid by Iran’s government against tens of thousands of Baha’is in the country – The film premiered at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York City in May.
Local filmmaker Kyle Corea who was part of the project, filming and producing in New York City, will be present during discussions after the film.
Kyle explains his passion for the project and its influence:
Public art has the unique power to not only uplift a community and beautify a space but also confront the viewer to think, reflect and question their own relationship to it. When art is created as a way to inspire change and awareness it can be more potent than words and permeates into the collective consciousness.
More information about the film can be found here:
According to Debbie Rosenfeld, Secretary for the local Baha’i community, today the Baha’i center services over 300 Baha’is in Monroe County.
Stephanie Monk-George, Chairperson for the local city of Rochester Baha’i community, reaffirms the Baha’i community’s goals,
We are charged with accompanying anybody on a path of service. Period. That’s more important than whether or not you are a Baha’i. We go out into the community working alongside people from other backgrounds and Faiths building for the next level of civilization. Connecting with others doing grass roots service is the charge of the Baha’i community.
Every first Saturday of the month the Baha’i community hosts Unity Night, a seedbed for growing a cohesive community, open to the general public. Engaging topics by notable speakers and open discussions following are included in the night along with a social hour and potluck dinner from 6-7 pm. In the past they have hosted Dr. Susan Thompson who presented “Rock Your Resolutions: The Science of Human Transformation” where she described the latest brain-based research in the science of human behavioral change.
They also hosted Eldred Harris, from Cornell University’s Board of Advisors, who discussed the history of how hip-hop culture emerged and its impact on our youth. Theatre of the Oppressed and more arts Unity Nights take place as well catering to creative dabblers.“The Baha’is take time to engage in spiritual studies, offer spiritual classes for children, empower youth to serve, and cultivate a devotional aspect in their lives; they invite the wider community to participate in these activities alongside them,” explains Stephanie.
The Rochester Baha’i community welcomes everyone to its center for upcoming Unity Nights and the film screening on Saturday, September 9th.