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Ingrid Askew

Ingrid Askew is the Founder and Executive Director of Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange.

Interfaith Pilgrimage
of the Middle Passage

The Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was a thirteen-month walk through the Eastern United States, the Caribbean, Brazil, Cape Verde, West Africa and South Africa in 1998-99. 


Reversing the direction of the slave ships that brought Africans across the Atlantic via the Middle Passage route, the pilgrims traced the history of slavery on foot and by boat beginning in New England and moving through the southern states to the Caribbean islands where enslaved Africans were "broken in" for plantation labor. 


Finally, the pilgrims traveled to West Africa, the ancestral homeland of the African Diaspora, where the journey continued to its end at the tip of the continent in Cape Town, South Africa. 

The Pilgrimage, co-founded by Ingrid Askew and Sister Clare Carter, was initiated by the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, of the New England Peace Pagoda, and open to all who wished to join.


It had an interfaith perspective and whenever possible involved the traditions to which African-Americans and people of African descent have primarily devoted themselves, that is Christianity, Islam, the traditional religions of Africa, and their forms in the "New World." 


The Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage was featured in the PBS six-part miniseries This Far by Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys and is available on DVD.

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