U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres Honored as Inaugural ‘Shaping an Omni-American Future’ Event Draws to a Close

U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15).

October 26, 2021

Leading artists and thinkers from the Black and Jewish American communities gathered on Monday for the second and final day of the inaugural “Combating Racism and Antisemitism Together: Shaping an Omni-American Future” conference, hosted by the Jazz Leadership Project, Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), and American Sephardi Federation.

The event was designed as a cultural celebration to bring the communities together and deliver a resounding message against racism and antisemitism, with an emphasis on the “Omni-American” ideals promoted by the late Black American thinker Albert Murray in his writings.

The highlight of Day Two was the presentation of the first-annual Omni-American Youth Leader Award to U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15).

“Those of us in elected office have an obligation to defend the core value that lies at the heart of the American experiment, which is diversity,” Torres said in his remarks after he received the honor. “And part of our commitment to promoting pluralism is fighting against extremism in every form, including antisemitism.”

“I worry about the rising illiberalism and extremism of the far right and the far left,” he added, “and those of us in the middle, we should feel deeply committed to defending liberal democracy, which is not only fragile, but can survive and succeed with our vigilance.”

Watch a full recording of Day Two of the conference below:

And if you missed, or want to rewatch, Day One, which included the presentation of the first-annual Albert Murray Award for Omni-American Excellence to world-renowned musician and composer Wynton Marsalis, a full recording is available for viewing here:

For more information on the conference and the new “Omni-American” movement, visit: event.omniamerican.org