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Black Hawks to join in United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week

Jaxon Washburn's portrait
Williams Field High School senior Jaxon Washburn is one of three youth representatives from across the nation selected to attend the United Nation’s World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Washburn will receive opportunities to interact with members of the U.N. on the complimentary trip from Feb. 1- 3. He may also receive an impromptu speaking part.

“This is tremendously bigger than anything that I have been a part of before,” Washburn said. “This is essentially the biggest opportunity yet that I’ve been able to receive.”

Washburn has proven himself to be a strong actor in promoting collaboration between people of all backgrounds for more than two years. Prior to speaking and leading a seminar at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2015 — the world’s largest interfaith organization — he founded the World Religion and Tolerance Society at his previous school in 2014. The club now has chapters at Williams Field, in Virginia and beyond.

Washburn is also involved in the United Religions Initiative, the international nonprofit through which he received the honor of visiting the United Nations. In addition, he has spoken at various interfaith awards ceremonies throughout the nation.

“All of these items and his determination to spread the word about freedom of religion have landed him at the United Nations,” said Mary Buscema, Williams Field’s career center specialist.

Washburn plans to major in religious studies at Arizona State University with the Provost Scholarship, following a mission trip. He also plans to participate in ASU’s interfaith movement: Sun Devils Are Better Together.

“Rather than put up walls, I promote building bridges across those lines of difference, building on what similarities we have,” Washburn said. “In the end, we truly do have more similarities than differences.”