KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Spiritual leaders across religions are joining to help people of any faith and non-faith navigate the end of 2020.

The Faith Always Wins Foundation is gathering an interfaith virtual panel on Thursday evening to discuss community healing after a contentious election cycle, record-breaking homicide numbers and pressures from the pandemic.

The founder of the organization, Mindy Corporon, said the timing of the panel is important.

“Purposely, we felt like right after the election would be a good time for us to gather together to share how much we really do have in common, but also it’s ok to be different,” she said. “It’s ok to have differences and to still have civil conversations and talk about what those differences are.”

Bill Tammeus, former columnist for the Kansas City Star, will moderate the panel. Key speakers are Dr. Joshua Paszkiewicz, Rev. Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III, Zoya Khan and Rabbi Sarah Smiley.

Corporon said while the discussion is led by people of faith, it is open to people of any religious background. She said it is common for people to dislike to the idea of “organized religion.” However, she said the collectiveness of these faith communities is not in the thinking, but the actions.

“It takes organization to pull people together,” she said. “When we pull together in that way, we can help grieving people. We can help one another understand that we’re not alone. That is one huge thing to help people know they are not alone in the crisis they are feeling right now.”

Corporon started the Faith Always Wins Foundation in 2014 after a white supremacist murdered her son and father outside Jewish Community Center facilities. Her goal for the organization is to promote kindness, faith and healing.

“People fear. Fearing something and not understanding something, specifically a faith, can lead to hate. Hate can lead to violence,” Corporon said.

The panel is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. More than 120 people signed up by Thursday morning.

After the initial discussion, participants will split into virtual breakout groups to reflect on what the panelists shared. Corporon said the key to making real change with dialogue is to keep it going after the virtual meeting ends.

“Go ahead and engage in conversations and not be fearful, which means take a step into conversation with someone and learn about them rather than shutting them down and being fearful of them,” Corporon said.

The panel is not sponsored. The Faith Always Wins Foundation is looking for a financial partner for the 2021 panel.

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