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A vision shared

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Those folks who find themselves looking around Detroit and thinking that there must be a better way to deal with our problems might want to stop by the First Unitarian-Universalist Church this Friday.

As part of a U.S. tour, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne of Sri Lanka will visit Detroit to discuss the Sarvodayan Movement he founded more than 40 years ago. What began in a single village in 1958 has expanded to more than 13,000 communities, with Ariyaratne receiving India’s Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination along the way.

Although developed as a way to address unmet needs in rural, Third World villages, supporters think application of the movement’s principles — a combination of spirituality and people-centered economic empowerment — could lift this city as well.

David Capararo, president of In the Light, one of the organizations sponsoring Ariyaratne’s visit, says Friday’s event should serve as an inspiration to community activists. “Dr. Ariyaratne’s movement has helped the poorest of the poor become self-sufficient,” explains Capararo, “and he shows what can happen if a person sticks to something unwaveringly.”

A highlight of the evening will be a dialogue between Ariyaratne and renowned Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs.

More information about the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, can be obtained by phoning either 248-722-7654, 248-335-414 or 313-923-0797. The church is located at the corner of Cass and Forest.

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