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(Houston, TX, April 23, 2018) – Fatih Ozcan of The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest, and Kathlyn Curtis of Why I Love Houston Properties, will present “The Dialogue: Voices Against Extremism” (VAE), on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM, at The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in The Turquoise Center, located in SW Houston at 9301 W. Bellfort Avenue.  They will introduce the plan and purpose of VAE to Houston, unveil “The Dialogue” an art installation depicting dozens of different modern and ancient religious leaders, prophets and symbols, and seek support from Houstonians. This event is open to the public and will include a key note speaker, breakfast and reception.
“The Dialogue” aims to align our thinking with that of great teachers and philosophers promoting peace on earth and the idea we are all connected. Created by Mary Jane Miller and Valentin Gomez, artists living in San Miguel de Allende, the installation includes seventeen paintings of Gods and Goddesses, ten paintings of master teachers and forty prayer wheels rotating in forty different languages, saying “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.  Lastly, seventy symbols flank three ascending steps to a doorway with a portrait of our beloved planet earth.
The goal of VAE is to become a unified voice against the use of violence or any form of persecution against any religious individual or group in the name of any other religion.  Through VAE, an annual festival will be held with a visual arts exhibition, a performing arts component through music, song, and dance, and a mediated panel discussion bringing together religious leaders from diverse backgrounds to share their faith with others.  The annual VAE festival will be presented to the public in a way that condemns terrorism and increases awareness of themes of Love, Mercy, and Tolerance in all faith backgrounds.  To find out more about participating in the Festival of Faiths this fall, please contact Fatih Ozcan at fozcan@thedialoginstitute.org or Kathlyn Curtis at kat@whyilovehouston.com.  

An example of the VAE’s goal of artistically promoting Love, Mercy, and Tolerance is the Interfaith Peace Garden Project underway at the headquarters for the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in Houston, Texas.  The Interfaith Peace Garden will serve the Greater Houston community and Houston’s visitors as a multi-religious center and physical pilgrimage site for all people to meditate, worship, and learn about how their fellow Houstonians understand and worship the divine.   The Interfaith Peace Garden currently includes three, steel-frame life-size structures of a synagogue, mosque and church.  
About the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest (formerly known as the Institute of Interfaith Dialogue) was established in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) by Turkish-Americans and their friends.  The Institute aims to promote mutual understanding, respect and cooperation among people of diverse faiths and cultures by creating opportunities for direct communication and meaningful shared experiences. For more information, please visit: thedialoginstitute.org.

About Kathlyn Curtis
Consistently a Top Producing Agent at Keller Williams Realty, Kathlyn is an authority on Houston’s most desirable neighborhoods and a trusted advisor to her clients.  A driving force behind her success is her breadth of experience including being an attorney, her fiduciary duties to her clients and her love of Houston. Her passion for diversity and interfaith dialogue led her sponsor The Dialogue: Voices Against Extremism project.
Press Contacts:
Fatih Ozcan
The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
Kathlyn Curtis
Why I Love Houston Properties

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