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How the Journey Began

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Imagine a future in which people of different cultures, religions, orientations and abilities live in harmony, appreciating and learning from each other’s differences.

Imagine a place where youth have an opportunity to “walk in the shoes” of others, to understand the importance of respect for others, to rejoice in the heroes and heroines who have overcome the challenges of prejudice, injustice and bigotry. The Institute for Advancing Unity is building that future— at the UNITY Lab.


The genesis of The Institute for Advancing Unity was a community's resolve to stand together in the wake of violence. The 1999 murder of a gay couple, the burning of a women's health center, and the firebombing of three synagogues, shocked Sacramento, Calif. into action.

In the capital of America's most diverse and most populous state, thousands rallied to assert their unity and determination not just to rebuild what the violence had destroyed, but to establish an organization dedicated to transforming human ignorance and prejudice into mutual understanding and respect. From these grassroots, The Capital Unity Council was born. Recognizing that Sacramento's challenges were shared by communities across the nation, The Council pursued a national focus, evolving in Ocotber 2010 into The Institute for Advancing Unity.

The Future

Now our three story, 32,000 square foot facility is shovel-ready, thanks to a broad community network including donors, collaborators, the City of Sacramento, the State of California, and partnerships with the Sacramento City Unified School District and the Los Rios Community College District. The UNITY Lab will serve as a national resource and state institution for the people and programs working to make unity an essential part of successful schools, thriving communities, and a livable world.


Click to view the UNITY Lab full screen.

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