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Exploring a New World with OIGC

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Exploring a New World with OIGC

This past year, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir completely changed my life.  I officially joined the choir last September, and ever since, I have experienced unprecedented artistic fulfillment as well as optimism about our world and the influence we can have in it.

We form this beautiful music called gospel by the traditional recipe of the human voice in harmonized chorus, the rhythms of the African diaspora, and the stories and melodies of America.  But unlike most gospel choirs, we are an explicitly interfaith organization.  To me this characteristic has two layers of poignancy.  At first, the obvious:  As religious intolerance justifies some of the most abhorrent violence throughout the world today, we stand as an interfaith gospel choir in front of the global audience as a basic refutation of this bigotry.  But in the Bay Area, where religious dogmatism is not so often the most formidable threat to our social integration, our choir is clearly an example of racial and socioeconomic diversity that is increasingly rare.  In addition to our numerous religious and spiritual persuasions, we are Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, wealthy, working class, old, young, straight, queer, and everything in between.  I have never before in my life been a part of such a diverse family, and I can’t begin to describe how awesome it is.

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