The Intersection of Religion, Identity, and Peacemaking with Rev. Robert Chase

Apr 20, 2017

Rev. Robert Chase has spent 10 years as director of Intersections International, working "to bring disparate groups together in search of peaceful and socially just resolution to long-held conflicts." In this wide-ranging talk, he discusses his time in Pakistan and Kazakhstan, working with New York's Muslim community, and how then-Senator Obama inspired him in 2004.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Hello, I'm Randall Pinkston. This is Ethics Matter. I'm here at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs with the Reverend Robert Chase.

Reverend Chase is the founding director of Intersections International, an organization dedicated to bringing people together nationally and internationally across lines of difference. It is important to note that after 10 years with Intersections, Reverend Chase is stepping away, and we are pleased to welcome him here to talk about what he has accomplished in those 10 years and perhaps what you intend to do next.

Welcome, Reverend Chase.

ROBERT CHASE: Thank you, Randall. It's an honor to be here.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Let's begin at the beginning. Who had the idea for Intersections? How does it operate? What is its mission?

ROBERT CHASE: Intersections is a permanent initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York. The Collegiate Church is the oldest corporation of any kind in North America. It dates back to 1628, so even before there was a United States there was the Collegiate Church operating in and around New York City.

Back in 2004 you may recall there was a speech given at the Democratic convention by then a little-known senator from Illinois called Barack Obama, who said to us, "There are no red states; there are no blue states; there are the United States," basically calling us to address those silos that we have been put into that keep us apart. The Collegiate Church responded to that call concretely in that they created an organization, Intersections International, that seeks to bring people together across lines of difference. Taking that challenge that then-Senator Obama presented us with, Intersections has now been operating for 10 years.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Stop just for a second. I never knew that it was that speech that prompted the Collegiate Church to look into founding a new ministry.

ROBERT CHASE: Unofficially it was that speech. But if you remember the times in which that speech was delivered, there was a lot of feeling on the part of the American people that we were divided, that we needed to come together. There isn't a direct cause-and-effect relationship between that speech and the development of Intersections, but Intersections was formed through a process.

The leadership of the Collegiate Church in a kind of prophetic view was seeking to establish a way of doing ministry in urban America in the 21st century in a new way. So they explored many options of what the form of that ministry should be. The result was Intersections in about 2007. While you can't say there was the speech and then there was Intersections, the speech was reflective of the times, and I think Intersections was a response also to the feelings of the day.

RANDALL PINKSTON: We should point out for our listeners and viewers who are not familiar with the Collegiate Church that perhaps they may have heard of the Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and The Power of Positive Thinking.

ROBERT CHASE: Yes. Dr. Peale was the senior minister at Marble Collegiate Church. Marble Collegiate is one of five ministries now, four congregations: Middle Church down in the East Village; Marble, which is in the Midtown area, 29th and Fifth; West End Collegiate Church, which is on the Upper West Side; and then Fort Washington Collegiate Church, which is up by the George Washington Bridge; and, as of the last 10 years, Intersections. Intersections has not only a local neighborhood congregational approach—in fact, we have no congregation at all—we have a global mandate to bring people together across these lines of difference to forge common ground for justice, reconciliation and peace.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Give me an example of some of the lines of difference that have been your focus. I know about veterans, for example; I know about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues.

ROBERT CHASE: When I was called to be the founding director of Intersections, part of my task was to concretize this mandate of bringing people together who differ: What does that mean, and how do we do that programmatically? What are the initiatives that we want to undertake that can in fact bring people together?

We went through a whole process. It was very interesting. We started very broadly. At one point we actually had 44 different programmatic initiatives. At that time we had a staff of about eight people, so obviously that was not workable. We needed to coalesce those priorities and identify maybe three or four that would most effectively address these fractures in our society.

Over the years we've focused on four pillars, if you will, that represent how we can bring people together across those divides that separate us. Those four areas are: You mentioned what we started almost 10 years ago, the Veteran-Civilian Dialogue, which sought at that time, and continues under the name Service Together, to bridge the military-civilian divide in this country.

We heard a lot during Occupy Wall Street of the 99 percent and the 1 percent, and that was economic principles, but there's also a 99 percent and a 1 percent in terms of our military, and that is that really now with a volunteer army only about 1 percent of our country does all of our military service around the world. How do we bridge that divide? So our Veteran-Civilian Dialogue, now Service Together, seeks to do that. That's one area.

The second area is: As you said, there has been a lot of change over the past 10 years in terms of the LGBTQ community. For so long it was felt that LGBTQ identity and religious identity were in conflict. What we've tried to establish—and I think very effectively so—is that one can be both a devoutly religious person and also be a member of the LGBTQ community, so we created a program called Believe Out Loud.

Believe Out Loud has become tremendously successful. Our Facebook page reaches over a million users per week consistently week after week after week. Our website has 200,000 followers. Basically it's an online conversation whereby people can explore both their sexual identity and their religious identity.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Are there any kind of counseling services provided via Intersections for people who are seeking assistance?

ROBERT CHASE: There are not counseling services directly like you and I sitting across this table here, but what we do is offer multiple resources for folks to explore those identities. It has been remarkable in the stories that we hear about people who are both engaging with their families, people who are engaging with their religious communities, to try to assert or affirm their sexual identity while also claiming authentically a religious perspective in their lives.

The third area that we are involved in is the use of the arts as a means for social justice. Recently—and we can talk about this later—we've really been focusing that particular program pillar on healing the divide between law enforcement personnel and the communities they serve. So community policing has become a really important priority for us, and we address that through some innovative theatrical techniques.

The fourth and final area that we are engaged in—and I think we want to talk about some today—is what we call Global Peacemaking. This grew out of the original divide between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, both here locally—you remember the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" controversy and some of the conflict between the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Muslim community and some of that in the New York area—

RANDALL PINKSTON: By way of background, that involved an effort by some Muslims in the New York City area to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan within blocks of the World Trade Center complex and opposition to that.

ROBERT CHASE: That's exactly right. Our role in that was to affirm the right of Muslim Americans to worship and pray wherever they saw fit. That particular center—which got a terrible rap in some media corners of the world—was a wonderful vision of how this Muslim-based entity could become a community-wide effort that would appeal to people of all faiths. That was a local example of how we became involved.

Globally we've become involved primarily in Central Asia, in Kazakhstan and particularly in Pakistan, where we have developed a program called the U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium (UPIC), which seeks to bring together religious leaders, community organizers, scholars, and students from both countries to help bridge the divide that has happened between the United States and Pakistan.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Before we leave the mosque controversy, tell me your perspective on this hypothetical—well, it's not a really hypothetical; it's a fact—some Americans, including some in government, who insist on connecting acts of terror not only to the individual who commits those acts but also to the individual's religion, which is one of the reasons why there was opposition to the building of the mosque, because they connected an Islamic mosque to those who claimed responsibility for the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. How do you respond to that point of view? What are the ethical considerations when you are trying to—well, you tell me.

ROBERT CHASE: I think it's unfortunate that the actions of a few individuals of any faith tend to paint a whole group of people with a particular brush. I know countless Muslims, work with them, am friends with them, and they abhor the acts of terror as much as non-Muslims in this country and around the world.

Again, we're in Pakistan frequently. We've now taken six trips to Pakistan in our U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium project and are building relationships there, and folks there are apoplectic about the fact that we in America think of all of them as terrorists. Yet that is part of the media narrative that we carry.

I think it's curious that we are quick to cite if there is an incident of terror the faith of the person if that person happens to be Muslim, not so quick if it is from another faith.

RANDALL PINKSTON: The pushback you run into from that perspective, Reverend Chase, is that the actors claim to be acting out of religious conviction. This is what they talk about on the web, in the videos say, "this is in the name of . . ." It is sacrilegious—

ROBERT CHASE: I could say that things I do are because I'm a Christian and maybe I'm not so proud of those things, but that doesn't make those acts Christian, or that doesn't make that act Muslim. We can claim whatever we want.

Sometimes—and especially with the media narrative that we have, "all Muslims are terrorists" or "Well, maybe not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim," right?—that can be a smokescreen for all kinds of other issues from mental health challenges to political agendas to revenge and retribution that one feels because of either a very personal incident in one's life or something where the community has been impacted.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Now, to Pakistan. Why did you focus on Pakistan? There are many countries.

ROBERT CHASE: Way back early on in life of Intersections, we were engaged in something called the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, which came out way back during the campaign that led to the first Obama administration or the first four years of the Obama, back in 2008.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Was this an outgrowth in part of the effort to repair relations after September 11?

ROBERT CHASE: Yes, and repair relations with the Muslim world.

We were working and created a website called, which was a companion piece to a book called Changing Course, which was produced and presented to both the Obama and the McCain campaigns at that time back in 2008. That report ultimately became a cornerstone in Obama's Cairo speech and other presentations to shift that focus in terms of U.S. policy. Our website took the inside-the-Beltway policies and applied them to Main Street: How do we as a community build bridges among ourselves?

We started out looking to heal the Muslim world writ large. The group called Convergence, which was a DC-based not-for-profit organization, who has been a great partner with Intersections over the past 10 years, decided to shift their focus from the Muslim world writ large to a particular country, and way back then they selected Pakistan.

They created something called the U.S.-Pakistan Leaders Forum. I was one of the "leaders" who was privileged to go to Pakistan. We noticed at the time that of the 50 or so of us that were from both the Pakistani side and the American side, I was the only religious professional. A couple of us got together afterward and felt that it was impossible to create holistic healing between the United States and Pakistan if you did not include a religious voice.

So Intersections took it upon itself to create the U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium, bringing together these individuals who had a kind of ethical/religious base as their worldview from both the United States and Pakistan to build relationships, alter stereotypes, and then to enact an action agenda that was developed by both U.S. and Pakistani delegates in that regard.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Can you share what the results were? What were your primary actions on that agenda?

ROBERT CHASE: Sure. One of the things that we discovered when we were there was that we had a lot of academics involved from both the U.S. and Pakistani sides. One of the things that grew out of that was an exchange program among professors. One really tremendous example I might cite is a relationship between the University of Management and Technology in Lahore with George Mason University in Virginia. They have a program that has already been up and running where they have exchanged 40 professors from those universities to help inform from a real-world perspective their students and others from those university communities about the other. This knowledge of the other is really a key element from an ethical standpoint in Intersections work. So that's one thing.

Another thing is that we've worked with young people because often in the church—which, of course, is my background—when we hear "young people," it's like anybody under 45. Well, that's nice, and increasingly that's true for me, but there's a group called KidSpirit that works with middle school-aged children from the ages of 11 to 17. What they do is create online and print publications about events and issues that concern them, and these are big issues like climate change and those kinds of things. They have a series of editorial boards who review the work, do the writing, create the design for these magazines, and it has gotten international acclaim.

We set it up so that there could be two now of those editorial boards in Pakistan. It was a great thing because—you know, there is tension between India and Pakistan, for example—there were a couple of these editorial boards from KidSpirit in India, but nothing in Pakistan. So this helps level the playing field for those who understand that the United States is concerned about the people both from India and Pakistan. So that's another one.

Just a third example that I can cite—and I can cite others if you'd like—there's a single young woman, her name is Sobia Khan, and she's from what's called KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in Northwest Pakistan where there's a lot of sectarian violence. Sobia—remarkable person; young woman in her twenties—wanted to help the women who were widows and surviving sisters of men who died in that sectarian violence. She established a program whereby she used sustainable agriculture as a technique to help teach these women a skill that they could then apply in their communities and in so doing receive an income. That was tremendously successful; she trained over 150 people doing that, and now is teaching Hindus and Christians IT skills.

RANDALL PINKSTON: How did this person come to the attention of the Intersections? Did you go out and recruit her? Was she one of your leaders in that early group?

ROBERT CHASE: She became aware of both Intersections and of UPIC through some of her knowledge of not-for-profit organizations here in the United States. She was visiting the United States—maybe it was the Atlantic Council or some group like that—and just serendipitously became involved with us. We discovered this remarkable assertiveness on her part and felt that if it were nurtured and supported financially she would be able to blossom, and sure enough, she has. You can tell by just looking at her; she looks like a totally different person.

RANDALL PINKSTON: I've visited Pakistan a few times. What many people know or maybe many people don't know is that Peshawar in Western Pakistan was the training ground for Osama bin Laden back in the day when the Soviets were still in Afghanistan. From there, he went into Afghanistan.

They are very conservative there and not necessarily so embracing of non-Islamic, non-Muslim religions. What kind of difficulty—I'm assuming there must have been some difficulty—was there in establishing cooperative relationships? Not only are you Christian, but you're also American. How did that work?

ROBERT CHASE: Let me respond in a couple of ways.

First, let me say that that region of Pakistan is where Sobia Khan is from. Imagine. She's indigenous; she's from that region, so she's not American. But she's a young, single woman doing this work.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Sort of like Malala Yousafzai.

ROBERT CHASE: Exactly. That's what she's like. So that's all the more reason to look at her as being a real example of how we can make a difference in the world.

The second thing to say is that we are acutely aware of security concerns when we go to Pakistan. You have to be. We have spent most of our time in Lahore and in Islamabad, which tend to be the more safe regions of the country, although on almost every occasion when we have gone there has been a flare-up of violence that we've had to address.

On one trip that we made two or three years ago there was a sniper attack on the Supreme Court in Islamabad, about four blocks from where we were staying. This was early in the week—I think on a Monday—when we were going on that Friday. So we had to check with our delegates and say, "Is it still okay for us to go, and do you want to go keeping in mind that this happened?" To a person, the delegates said, "This is too important. We need to go."

RANDALL PINKSTON: That is to say, the delegates from here and from Pakistan?

ROBERT CHASE: The delegates from here. The people from Pakistan kind of deal with that all the time. That's part of their worldview. But the delegates from here, to a person—I was really proud of the fact that our delegates were that committed to peace.


ROBERT CHASE: At that time it was about 12. In early 2017, we took our largest group, which was about 30, and those were from 12 different countries, and we can get to that in a minute. That's just indicative of the kind of growth and interest that people have had in this program.

We've had to address the security concerns. When we travel from place to place we travel with military or police escorts; we have to do that. But we also seek to go into the suburban regions. We're not quite at the point—with a couple of exceptions—where we've gone into rural areas, because it's dangerous. But our hope is if you think of—our theory of change is that you start here and you spread out like the legs of a stool, and you go out more and more as you develop trust into the rural areas, into those areas in the madrasa community, for example. A goal that we have for the 2018 trip is to engage the madrasa community, which would be an important milestone because that, of course, is where much of the tension comes from between our countries, and again, according to the media narrative, where there is a lot of "terrorism."

I want to come back to one thing you said earlier and just be clear because I don't think I've mentioned this. Our group that goes is not only Christian but Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. One of the things that we're very proud of—in 2017 we had a Buddhist with us as well. We are interreligious in every sense of the term, and what we seek to project simply by our presence is religious pluralism in the United States because we think that's one of the foundation stones of what makes America great. So, by being there, it's really important.

In 2017—one of the founders from the Pakistani side, Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad, passed away in 2016, and we happened to be there on the one-year anniversary of his death. In Pakistani culture the one-year anniversary of one's death is a very important opportunity for a commemoration celebration. What we did was we went to his home community in the rural area and went to his graveside. In his honor we had an imam, a rabbi, and a Catholic priest say prayers at his graveside.

RANDALL PINKSTON: In rural Pakistan.

ROBERT CHASE: In rural Pakistan. It was a remarkable experience: very peaceful, very uplifting, and a great celebration of Dr. Mumtaz's life and his commitment to interreligious conversation and action.

RANDALL PINKSTON: You mentioned that people who live in that part of the world take for granted that there are going to be difficulties when they try to interface with what they would consider to be the "other," but I'm wondering if any of those people have actually had threats, been harassed, or faced real physical consequences of collaborating with Intersections and the Consortium.

ROBERT CHASE: The way that this plays itself out is really interesting in my view. Let me cite a real quick story.

The first time I went to Pakistan, the first very occasion, I was in a room of about 200 mostly students, and asked the question, "How many of you have been to America?" Of course, none had. "What are your thoughts of America?" Somebody from the back of the room put his hand up—this is my first trip to Pakistan, my first event at my first trip in Pakistan, so the first thing I heard from them—and says, "You're all terrorists."

RANDALL PINKSTON: He said all Americans are terrorists.

ROBERT CHASE: He said all of Americans are terrorists. This again gets to the ethics of what we try to be about at Intersections, what makes us different. I had a choice at that moment, which was to say, "Well, no, we're not," or I could say, "Well, tell me more. Why do you feel that?"

So our approach when we go is to ask questions.


ROBERT CHASE: And to listen, exactly.

There's another part to this story. About six months later, I'm in central Iowa doing kind of a workshop also. I did the same thing: "How many of you have been to Pakistan?" Of course, nobody had been to Pakistan. "So what is your impression of Pakistan?" First kid raises his hand and says, "They're all terrorists."

So you see the divide that we have, you see the ground that we have to make up because neither of those narratives is accurate, and we have to address those. That is what we try to do, and we try to do it, as you said, not by going over to Pakistan and telling them what they need to think about us but by asking questions; by listening; by taking an interest in their lives; not by talking about how we pray or what our liturgies are, what our religious are; but "How does your ethical-religious perspective impact the way you address electricity in your community or education or child welfare?" or that kind of thing.

We really got our comeuppance at one point because in one of our sessions one of our American delegates, a well-known American religious leader actually, said, "You know, I'm getting really impatient. We need to start doing something. We need to be engaged in activity." A Christian woman from Pakistan—because we also engage the religious minorities in Pakistan when we go over there; we're quite intentional about that—put her hand up and said, "Don't underestimate the power of simply continuing to meet, because these gatherings that we're having here where we're just talking can be in many of our communities life-threatening."

That was a great thing for me to hear as an American religious leader, that staying the course in our conversation, in our relationships, in our interactions, is so important for Pakistanis because Americans get impatient, mistrust develops. The pattern of U.S.-Pakistan relations is filled with fits and starts, and we are trying to address that.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Let's talk about Kazakhstan. Same kind of mission there or is it different?

ROBERT CHASE: Same kind of mission, yes. This is also part of our Global Peacemaking program, our involvement with Kazakhstan. What happened there, again serendipitously in some ways, Intersections was approached way back I think in 2009 to work with the Kazakhstan embassy to the United States to help generate interest on the part of the religious community for something called the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which met every three years in Kazakhstan, as an attempt to bring people together interreligiously to help structure programs that could help address extremism and terrorism in Central Asia. It's an important issue.

So we began that way, trying to build that delegation. We built a delegation—I was not part of that. We had the only woman. Of 70 religious leaders around the table, the only woman was from the American delegation. So we felt pretty good about that.

Subsequently we wrote a report to very high levels of the Kazakhstan government, including the foreign minister, and called on them, challenged them, really, to increase the involvement on the part of women and the involvement on the part of youth in this interreligious gathering that they had every three years. I'm thrilled to be able to say that three years later there were some women in leadership; there was a panel discussion on women's issues; there was a panel discussion on youth issues. That started the involvement with Intersections and the government of Kazakhstan.

RANDALL PINKSTON: When I hear that it was the Kazakhstan embassy to the United States that initiated this request, it is rather surprising because you wonder what is it about ministry, religious leaders, that prompts that interest on the part of those government officials?

ROBERT CHASE: Again, the media narrative that plays out in this country tends to be top-line and therefore can become very superficial.

RANDALL PINKSTON: What was that movie, Borat?

ROBERT CHASE: Borat, right. So actually—you brought it up—we were approached shortly after that movie was here. There was a feeling on the part of the Kazakhstan embassy that they wanted to counter that narrative that was in the popular culture.

RANDALL PINKSTON: The narrative being—

ROBERT CHASE: That Kazakhstan is backward. Trust me, their capital city, Astana, is anything but backward. It looks like Disneyland. It's just incredible architecture and has been recently created out of whole cloth really only about 25 years ago. It is just really a remarkable setting.

But, yes, to counter that narrative, the feeling on the part of the Kazakh government from the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on down, there is a feeling that interreligious cooperation is an important antidote against terrorism. So there is support on the part of the Kazakhstan government to have these global gatherings that promote interreligious harmony. There are 140 ethnic and religious minorities in Kazakhstan, so this pluralism is an important component in addressing those possibilities for violence and fear and exploitation on the part of religious extremists.

RANDALL PINKSTON: Your efforts as I hear them are aimed at conversations, people-to-people relationships. Can you see or can you project how that can be transferred from people-to-people to government-to-government?

ROBERT CHASE: We have a phrase we use at Intersections. The phrase is "change starts here." What's behind that is that we believe that those very intimate conversations—like you and I are having now—are often the catalyst for changes that lead to policy shifts, even at the national level. We are very active in promoting those intimate exchanges between individuals in the hope that other players will take a renewed understanding, a deepened understanding, of the other and translate that into policy changes and that kind of thing.

In 2018 we have a plan to expand—this is in Pakistan, not Kazakhstan—that speaks directly to what you're asking. In 2018 we will be working with the National Defence University in Pakistan. We will be engaging people at the senior military level—who are Pakistani, of course—in terms of some of the perspectives we share such that human security is the ethic, not just security but human security that allows for the flourishing of culture, arts, and liberty.

If we have an opportunity in this next year to engage some senior military leaders from Pakistan one-on-one in conversations like we're having here we believe that ultimately over time—which is why this is a long-term process; we're not looking for a quick fix—we will then help change the way we relate to one another between Americans and Pakistanis.

RANDALL PINKSTON: I feel duty-bound to at least mention Syria, in part because some years ago, about 2013, you wrote a column after the use of poisonous gas on Syrian people by Assad that there was a need for decisive action on the part of America's president, that action needed to be taken, "decisive action," you phrased it if I'm not mistaken. This president has, some would say, taken decisive action earlier in the year. Was this what you would have had in mind at the time?

ROBERT CHASE: I think we need to see how this president's actions play out over time. One-offs are not a favorite of mine. I'm really interested in sustained activity. What that means for this president or any president over time is really significant.

One of the things that we need to be really attentive to, as horrific as poisonous gas is on the individuals who are affected, is what about the long-term, relentless struggles that refugees have to go through? When we were engaged—way back when; it seems like ancient history—the Iraqi refugee crisis, what Intersections did in terms of trying to address that issue was rather than sending journalists to Iraq, we sent artists to Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan to engage the Iraqi refugee community so that they can then come back and tell personal stories about those experiences that they learned from, again sitting across a table like this in an intimate setting, one on one, between our artists and those Iraqi refugees.

RANDALL PINKSTON: And those artists expressed their findings in the form of drama, music, drawings, paintings, the whole panorama of art?

ROBERT CHASE: Dance, right, yes, exactly. Just one real quick story: We were doing a kind of debrief, and one of our artists was a dancer-choreographer. We were talking about it like we're talking now. There was a group of about 10 of us or something. We got to her, "What was your impression?" She just started crying. She couldn't articulate what she experienced from her encounters with Iraqi refugees.

Later that night, we had a program at Intersections where we used the arts to help tell stories. It was her turn, and she took her body and threw it—I'll never forget this—up against the wall. It was the most violent thing I'd ever seen. Not a word was spoken. She threw her body up against the wall to portray the walls and the barriers that these refugees experienced daily as they tried to make their way to a safe and secure place to live. So without words she was able to capture the violence and the extremism that these refugees encountered.

Of course, today we are all horrified by the use of poisonous gas, but we need to be mindful that there are these refugees, families, women, and children who are taking everything that they own and giving it away so that they can travel across the world really to try to find safety for their loved ones. So when we think about the ethics of our interaction with people from Syria and elsewhere, we need to also look at how we're welcoming the stranger. That's an ethic that we need to keep in mind as well.

RANDALL PINKSTON: It reminds us, of course, of Lazarus' famous poem, "Give us your tired, your poor, your"—

I want to wrap up our conversation with some words from you, Reverend Chase. You wrote the following about Intersections: "We are constantly challenged to bring disparate groups together in search of peaceful and socially just resolution to long-held conflicts. It is delicate and sensitive work. In this time of great disharmony, we are all called to truly listen to the voices that feel ignored or fearful; we are called to open our hearts and minds; and to find those common threads upon which to build a future where peace with justice and working together for the common good is not only possible but a reality. It will take all of us." Thus spoke the Reverend Robert Chase.

With that, sir, I want to thank you for joining us on Ethics Matter. Good luck to you in the next stage of your next career.

ROBERT CHASE: Thanks, Randall. It's been an honor.

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