San Diego Public Library celebrates the exciting conclusion and culminating event of the series, Stories of Faith: Religion & Diversity in San Diego, on Friday, January 21, 6:30 pm at the City Heights Library Performance Annex, 3795 Fairmount Ave. Live music and refreshments will be provided. Special events will include the screening of the documentary film specially made for the project: “Las Abuelas: Latina Grandmothers Explain the World & Other Stories of Faith.”
Stories of Faith is the multi-event and multi-site series presented by the San Diego Public Library from August 2004 to January 2005 as part of the statewide “California Stories: Communities Speak” Program funded California Council for the Humanities. The series explored the role of religion as a pivotal filter through which San Diegans in a very diverse city could better understand their history and changes to their communities. Focused mainly on neighborhoods south of I-8 which include some of the most diverse in the region and host many newly arrived immigrant groups from around the world, primary participants (both old and new immigrants as well as established groups) in the project’s events were mainly residents in these neighborhoods. The religious beliefs encountered within these neighborhoods and explored during the series include Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism, Rast-afarianism, various Protestant and evangelical denominations, Hinduism, the Baha’i community, Santería, Vodou, Candomblé, Sufism, the Yoruba spiritual universe, and the Mormon faith.
The theme of Stories of Faith was inspired by a successful series of programs by the Library shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. The goal was to sensitize people about the cultures and traditions of Arab and Muslim communities. With the Stories of Faith project, the Library built on conversations already begun, with hope of deepening the dialogue and extending the discussion to the many ethnic and cultural communities in San Diego.