Rais Bhuiyan is an immigrant from Bangladesh whose life changed 10 years ago. While he was working at a gas station in Dallas, a man came in, asked where he was from and then shot him.
He survived the hate crime but two others — Vasudev Patel, 49, a Hindu from India, and Waqar Hasan, 46, a native of Pakistan — were killed on different days at the hands of the same person — Mark Stroman. A white supremacist angry about 9/11, Stroman was executed for his crimes, but Bhuiyan campaigned against his death. He forgave Stroman.
Since then, Bhuiyan has been committed to breaking the cycle of hate and violence by advocating forgiveness. He founded World Without Hate, a nonprofit group that teaches people how to heal and respond nonviolently in times of crisis.
For this commitment, Bhuiyan will receive the 2011 Peacemaker of the Year Award on Thursday at the Dallas Peace Center’s 25th annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner. Also being honored are Roger Kallenberg, with the Lifetime Achievement Award; the South Dallas Cultural Center, with the Peacemaking Organization of the Year Award; and BJ Austin of KERA, with the Media Peacemaker of the Year Award. Visit dallaspeacecenter.org......