Pacifica Institute has opened its doors to the San Fernando Valley Community (June 2nd, 2012)
Guests and Pacifica Institutes volunteers gathered in Northridge, Saturday, to celebrate the opening of the institute’s 13th and newest branch.
The San Fernando Valley Branch Opening took place on June 2nd and was attended by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley); Alexei Smith, Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Sahika Aydin, Culture & Tourism Attaché of LA; Ibrahim Barlas, President of Pacifica Institute; Ozkur Yildiz, President of the West America Turkic council; members of the Istanbul Armenian community; along with friends of Pacifica from different faiths, cultures.
Assembly member, Blumenfield said he was very happy that Pacifica Institute was now in his district.
“This organization is very important for our community in terms of bringing people together from different backgrounds, religions and cultures,” Blumenfield said.
Sahika Aydin, Culture & Tourism Attaché of LA, shared Blumenfield sentiment towards the institute.
“The institute plays very important role in building a relations between United States and Turkey. I am thankful to Pacifica Institute’s efforts on behalf of the Turkish Consulate of Los Angeles,” Aydin said.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place a little before noon, guests were given a tour of the new branch.
Attendees then got an opportunity to venture into the backyard of the branch where they enjoyed live Turkish music, Turkish handicrafts, and Anatolian cuisine.
During the event, Ibrahim Barlas, President of Pacifica Institute, took a moment to thank all those who had participated in the event and volunteered their time.
He also took that opportunity to remind people of Pacifica Institute’s mission.
“Our main goal in opening this new branch is to serve the neighborhood and the community by organizing conferences, panels and working in close association with Cal State Northridge as part of Pacifica`s Lecture Series” Barlas said.
Pacifica institute was further honored by a Certificate of Recognition for the branch’s “Grand Opening” from Los Angeles County Sheriff, Leroy Baca.
“Your focus on inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogues, while bringing friendship within our communities, is truly remarkable,” the certificate read. “The men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department join me in congratulating and thanking you for your leadership and unwavering dedication.”