More than 450 international and national community leaders in social justice and human rights came together for a festive and elegant evening of entertainment, camaraderie and recognition of a decade of partnership achievements and vision and dialogue in collaborative efforts toward innovative social change.

“Intersections, as a leading organization that identifies and raises awareness for our society about communities that are in conflict, brings disparate groups together in dialogue to enable them to find commonality upon which relationships can be repaired or built,” said Danita Branam, Intersections International Governing Board chair. “Through dialogue we are able to change the story—dismantle the stereotypes, enable new learning and compassion that leads to genuine reconciliation.”

After 10 years of dedicated work, the founding director of Intersections International, the Rev. Robert Chase, announced his retirement. In his tenure at Intersections, Chase displayed unparalleled leadership in crafting an organization dedicated to multifaith and multicultural approaches to dialogue, education and leading social change through the arts. Chase said of his departure, “After 46 years of continued employment—the last 10 at Intersections—I approach a future that holds new definitions, new identities, new challenges. Emotionally, it is both exciting and a bit daunting—yet another ‘intersection.’ I face this future with gratitude for all that has been and with confidence in a future that holds possibilities as yet unimagined, expanded horizons and opportunities for continued service in pursuit of justice and human dignity.”

The Special Recognition Award was bestowed on His Excellency Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Nations.

The gala’s honorees included: Wendy C. McClinton, president and CEO, Black Veterans for Social Justice; Randall Miller, director of Global Religions, Arcus Foundation; Bibi Russell, founder, Bibi Russell Fashion for Development; and Riaz Siddiqi; founder and managing partner, Denham Capital.