TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Leaders of different faiths sat down with Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum to learn more about the city's efforts to promote tolerance and unity in light of recent events.
The mayor's office holds meetings with interfaith leaders every quarter but Wednesday's get-together came on the heels of two major incidents that prompted many across the country to rely on faith: the racial tension in Charlottesville and the devastation in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey.
More than 50 leaders of different denominations and religious practices gathered for a special luncheon at the Old West Florida Enrichment Center.
Mayor Andrew Gillum announced the city will organize a blood drive Friday and collect supplies to send to hurricane victims.
He said leaders of faith help unite communities in times of crisis.
"This is the embodiment of what community is supposed to represent," said Gillum. "So, it is quite strange that we could see that, just in a short period of time, we can go from our corners -- fighting in many ways -- to all being on the same accord and on the same page on what it means to be part of the human family and to support each other in our times of need."
Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna also announced a new initiative to encourage interfaith leaders to plug into the district. The new "Adopt-A-School" program is in need of mentors and volunteers to interact with students.
Mayor Gillum also announced the date of the next Longest Table event, which brings together residents from all over the city for a meal and discussion. The next event is on November 5th of this year with a location to be announced.