I wanted to share an awesome initiative spearheaded by the Baha’i Community of New Zealand called The Race Unity Speech Awards. Having started back in 2001, the event is an annual public speaking competition for senior high school students in New Zealand, and although the topic varies from year to year, the theme is always around race. Students are given one or two quotes and several bullet points relating to the particular topic, and asked to consider them when preparing their speeches. Regional heats are held in 14 locations around the country and around 25 of the regional participants gather in Auckland each year for the national semi-finals and finals. The speech awards provide a nationwide platform for students to express their ideas on how we can improve race relations, and the theme for 2019 was “Speaking for Justice, Working for Unity”. In conjunction with the speech awards are also gatherings called Race Unity Hui. These gatherings are also organized to give young people an opportunity to be heard when it comes to race relations issues, and they provide a space for young people to advance the conversation about race relations in New Zealand.
This year’s finals of The Race Unity Speech Awards just took place last month, and Robbie White of New Plymouth Boys’ High School won the competition; he cited examples of past and present New Zealand leaders who have helped to forge unity in New Zealand, and confidently wove the Maori language into his speech (which you can watch here). Nina Gelashvilli, a Year 12 student at Kuranui College in the Wairarapa, was the national runner-up and Michael Echague, a Year 12 student from St John’s College in Hamilton, was a national finalist. I was excited to hear from these three participants about their experience with this incredible event, and here’s what they shared with me: Continue reading
The Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) around Christmas time each year, is an exciting annual event packed with great talks and workshops for all ages and with an average of 2,500 attendees.
The Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference has been going strong for over 30 years now, and this year’s conference (held from December 23-25) will feature an array of great talks by speakers such as Mr. Fariborz Sahba, architect of the Lotus Temple in India and the terraced gardens surrounding the Shrine of the Bab, Deborah Walters, Justin Baldoni, Sina Mossayeb and many others. There’s also a line-up of talented artists, like KC Porter, JB Eckl, and Eric Dozier, who will be performing.
I’m visiting Phoenix right now, and I was glad to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with Shahin Badiee, who is one of the conference’s organizing committee members, to learn a little about this annual conference. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago Baha’i Blog sponsored our very first event at the Baha’i Centre in Sydney, Australia.
It was a talk by Tom Price called Following the Example of Abdu’l-Baha and we wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was passing through Australia on his way back to the US after speaking at the two recent summer schools in New Zealand.
Baha’i Blog has posted some of Tom Price’s other talks such as The Five Year Plan (which is still one of our most popular posts), and more recently Recreating Ourselves in the Image of the Master.
Abdu’l-Baha, (also referred to as the Master) was Baha’u’llah’s eldest son and appointed successor, and He is considered the perfect example of how to live according to the Baha’i teachings.
You can listen to Following the Example of Abdu’l-Baha by either streaming it live or by downloading it – and best of all, it’s completely free! Continue reading
Baha’i music composer Tom Price recently gave a series of three talks about the Five Year Plan at the Tennessee Baha’i School. With his permission, Baha’i Blog is pleased to share with you the talks to stream from our site or to download – and best of all, it’s completely free!
The study of the 5 Year Plan is something we’ve all been encouraged to do, and we hope these talks will help you with this. We know that anyone who has ever heard Tom Price speak will be frantically clicking away at the download buttons, and for those of you who have yet to tune in to one of Tom’s talks, you’re in for a treat!
We hope you enjoy the talks and please let us know what you think in the comments section and feel free to share this post with your friends.
Happy Listening! Continue reading