An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

How Should We Commemorate 9/11’s Tenth Anniversary?

Presenters: Douglas A. Hicks

Date: 23 August 2011


Leaders in various settings—civic, political, religious, not-for-profit, neighborhood, and workplace—face the daunting question: How should we commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2011? Should we hold some sort of event, or a moment of silence? What messages do we want to communicate? Who could organize this, and should be included?

To commemorate means to remember, or to honor a memory, together in some sort of community. Precisely who that community should include is a matter of public debate—and a practical challenge in various organizations. The words or symbols used could create tension or even controversy, but they also can provide solace.

The United States is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, comprised of citizens of myriad traditions as well as a large number of citizens identifying as spiritual but not religious. Yet other Americans do not profess any faith. People from nearly all of these backgrounds—Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and those of no religious tradition—died in the attacks of 9/11. Just as significant, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and many other chaplains provided spiritual care for victims’ families in the aftermath.

Much has happened in the ensuing ten years—politically, economically, socially, and militarily. So, ten years later, leaders ask, how shall the people in my organization or community commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 amid the deep devotion and rich diversity of the American context? This webinar will tackle these questions, providing a contextual overview and addressing practical issues for what to do between now and 9/11/11.

Outcome of Attending

  • Contextual understanding of religious, spiritual, moral diversity
  • Tools for talking about religion and faith in public settings
  • Ideas for planning a commemorative event on/near 9/11/11
  • Tips for avoiding tensions that could arise when emotions are strong

Speaker Information

Douglas A. Hicks

Douglas A. Hicks, Ph.D., is professor of leadership studies and religion in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. He is author of With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America. Hicks has also written Religion and the Workplace: Pluralism, Spirituality, Leadership. He edited, with J. Thomas Wren and Terry L. Price, the three-volume International Library of Leadership. Frequently quoted in the national media, Hicks’ research focuses on religion in public leadership, religion in the workplace, and the ethical dimensions of economic issues. He has a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, an M.Div. from Duke University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard.