Islamic Center of Fort Collins hosts Celebration of Diversity in response to Charlie Kirk event at CSU

Pat Conrey

The Islamic Center of Fort Collins and the Plymouth Congregational Church hosted a Celebration of Diversity preceding the Turning Point USA event Friday afternoon. Pastors, preachers and a number of local leaders represented 13 organizations and spoke at the celebration giving their blessings to the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University.

Two women stand holding signs. The woman on the left holds an American flag and a sign reading "diversity makes America great," the woman on the left holds a sign with a quote about justice and red, white and blue portraits of ethnic women.
Susan Dunn and Patricia Miller hold up handmade signs at the Celebration Rally on Friday, Feb. 2. The rally took place ahead of Charlie Kirk’s controversial talk at CSU. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

Observing the celebration in the wake of Traditionalist Worker Party flyers found at CSU, Pastor David Williams of Abyssinian Christian Church said, “I hope it is a testimony to those who came to pander hate that they need to look elsewhere. We stand united as a people and community.”


According to Pastor Joseph Moore of Masonville Presbyterian the celebration came together in a flurry of phone calls and emails. Approximately 200 people came carrying signs reading, “I’m here because I am answering the call of love” or “Love Wins.”

The opening speaker gathered the audience together and in unison the audience sang “This Little Light of Mine.”

“I thought the show of unity and diversity from our different faiths and cultural differences was a powerful statement,” Pastor Williams said.

Plymouth Congregational Church co-sponsored the event. The church, which sits across the parking lot from the Islamic Center, affirms on their website that they are “welcoming into full membership and participation in the Body of Christ persons of every race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic origin, physical and mental ability, economic status and nationality.”

Rev. Gretchen Haley of Foothills Unitarian Church made sure that everyone was included in the celebration. She asked the audience turn to their neighbor, look them in the eyes and say, “You are Beloved.” 

Dr. Tony Frank felt obligated to attend the event but was unable to since he was internationally abroad. He attempted to change his flight to make the timing of the celebration but was unable to do so. Rick Miranda, Provost and Executive Vice President of CSU filled in for Frank and read Frank’s remarks.

“This is our time in history to stand up and assert — as so many great leaders from many faith traditions have before us — that love is stronger than hate, education more powerful than ignorance, and peace is the path forward through darkness toward light,” Miranda said.

Collegian reporter Pat Conrey can be reached at or on Twitter @Load_of_Crop.