Westfield State holds annual Interfaith Breakfast

Tariah Amatul-Wadud

Westfield State University will host its 28th annual Interfaith Breakfast on Wednesday, April 12 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall featuring keynote speaker Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Esq.

A fundraiser for the Center, this year’s Interfaith Breakfast benefits Common Goods at Westfield State, the university’s food pantry that is located in the Second Congregational Church, at 487 Western Avenue. Common Goods was founded in March 2016 to combat food insecurity among the Westfield State community, including students, faculty, and staff. Common Goods also stocks basic hygiene products for those in need.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Esq., is an attorney from Chicopee. Her law firm focuses on civil rights and domestic relations law. She chairs continuing education courses for both practicing law professionals and citizens and sits on the board of the Children's Law Project for the Hampden County Bar Association. Amatul-Wadud was invited to the White House in 2015 to attend the “Celebrating and Protecting America's Tradition of Religious Pluralism” ceremony.

The late Dr. Catherine Dower will be honored posthumously at the Interfaith Breakfast for the support she gave to the Center during its early years. Dr. Dower was a music professor at Westfield State from 1956-1990, and chaired the Music department from 1956-1967. She retired from the university in 1991 and was named professor emerita of music history and literature in 1991. In 2015, Dr. Dower gifted $1 million to Westfield State to establish the Catherine Dower Center for the Performing & Fine Arts. Dr. Dower is remembered as a treasured member of the Westfield State community who always supported her students and fellow faculty members.

The event will also feature the Wall of Healing and Hope in honor of those who have lost their lives or are currently battling opioid addiction. The Wall was created in 2016 by the Westfield-based Opioid Task Force and is meant to encourage the healing process for the community.  Those who attend the breakfast are encouraged to write messages of hope and healing on the wall.

The Interfaith Breakfast is sponsored by Westfield Gas + Electric. Individual tickets are $20 or a table for eight can be reserved for $160. Please consider bringing a non-perishable food donation for Common Goods at Westfield State.  To purchase a ticket, visit