TGS Opening
Thanks-Giving Square

Peacemaker Organization of the Year Award:
Faith Forward Dallas


Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square – Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice was founded in 2015 and is part of The Thanks-Giving Square Foundation. It is a broad and diverse coalition of Dallas’ faith leaders, dedicated to service, hope, and a shared vision for our North Texas community. They are united to create and support a community of respect and compassion for all, sharing in the mission of The Thanks-Giving Foundation to heal divisions and enhance mutual understanding.

The group is frequently called upon to lead the city in prayer, respond to crisis events, and facilitate dialogue between faith and other  community groups. When thousands of people gathered at Thanks-Giving Square after the Dallas police shooting in July 2016, Faith Forward Dallas led a prayer vigil for those seeking healing and understanding.

Please visit their website for more details on their many activities:


Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters

Coordinating Committee Co-Chair:
The Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters


The Reverend Dr. Michael W. Waters is founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church in Dallas. His commentary has been featured on ABC Nightline, BBC Newsnight, CBS This Morning, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, MSNBC, NPR, The NBC Nightly News, PBS Newshour and VICE on HBO. He’s been featured or mentioned in The Associated Press, The Christian Century, Ebony Magazine, GQ Magazine, Sojourners Magazine and The Washington Post.

The married father of three is the award-winning author of Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture and the critically-acclaimed Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America.




Rabbi Nancy Kasten

Coordinating Committee Co-Chair:
Rabbi Nancy Kasten


Rabbi Nancy Kasten is a community educator, volunteer, and activist. Ordained by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990, she served as Hillel Director, Associate Chaplain, and Adjunct Professor of Biblical Hebrew at SMU from 1990-2002. From 2002-2005 Kasten worked as Campus Rabbi and Head of Jewish Studies at the Wise Academy, a Reform Jewish Day School. In recent years her focus has been on the intersection between mindfulness and social justice.

Rabbi Kasten is currently a co-chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square and also volunteers with a number of organizations that advocate for peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians. She is married to Rabbi David Stern and they have three children.




Imam Omar Suleiman
Imam Omar Suleiman

Coordinating Committee Co-Chair:
Imam Omar Suleiman


Imam Omar Suleiman is the President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also the resident scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square - faith leaders united for peace and justice.

His career started in his hometown of New Orleans, where he served as the Imam of the Jefferson Muslim Association in New Orleans for six years and directed the “Muslims for Humanity” Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. It was in this time that he was noted on a national level as being a strong advocate of community service, interfaith dialogue, and social justice. He co-founded the East Jefferson Interfaith Clergy Association and was awarded for his outstanding civic achievement by the Mayor and City Council of New Orleans in 2010.

In Dallas, he has been a noted leader and voice for peace and has partaken as a representative of the Muslim Community in many city functions. He has been a guest at various national functions, sharing his experiences in community-building, and is regularly featured in national news and documentaries. D-Magazine recently ran a story on him titled "The Religious Leader Dallas Needs," and his work in bringing people together was the subject of a BBC documentary in 2016. His work with refugees was featured on PBS.



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