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Interfaith Youth Core

How Stories Can Smash Stereotypes

How Stories Can Smash Stereotypes

An INTER Interview

One thing that breaks down barriers between people is sharing stories. When we hear someone’s story and hear their hopes and struggles, we can’t help but see their humanity.

Rev. Jennifer Bailey – What Defines a Millennial Interfaith Leader?

Often in the interfaith movement, we speak about the changes in the religious landscape and the impact these sociological, religious and political shifts have on the movement. Rarely, however, do we get the chance to hear from young leaders of the movement who spend time thinking about and challenging our expectations of what it means to be a leader in the interfaith movement today.

Youth Interfaith Activists

Six years ago, in January 2009, I sat on a train thinking about where the year ahead would take me. Nearing the end of my undergraduate degree, I was starting to think more seriously about what to do next. I had ideas, but nothing quite seemed to fit until I came across an international, interfaith, social action-oriented program called the Faiths Act Fellowship.

The Struggle for Interfaith Funding, and Interfaith Career Opportunities

An Interview with Diana Eck – Part 3

Offering an Overdue Welcome to the Atheist Community

A week after 9/11, on a Monday afternoon, 400 clergy in vestments assembled in Civic Center, San Francisco, a rainbow of color representing an unprecedented diversity. They processed into Bill Graham Civic Auditorium where 5,000 had gathered to mourn the terrible tragedy the nation had suffered. After a long, thoroughly interspiritual service, people streamed out. In a far corner of the green a group of people stood alone, protestors, waving posters.

Building Community One Microblog at a Time

I first joined the interfaith movement as a precocious fifteen-year-old. With an English translation of the Qur’an in hand, I walked into a Christian Bible study at my high school and demanded that they help me get Muslims a space to pray during Ramadan. For me then, as it did throughout my time in college, interfaith activism meant something very clear: come together to build community, create safe space for meaningful dialogue, and act out the words of our scriptures to make change for the common good. Together, we squirmed at the thought of the emerging “slacktivist” movement, where activists use the internet as their main platform for their cause. The internet was just digital space, so how can it change anything?

American Academy of Religion Opens Door to Interreligious Studies

It all began when I sat next to Prof. Barbara McGraw at an Interfaith Youth Core conference in Chicago in 2009. We were both impressed by the energy and passion of the religiously diverse young people gathered to talk about models of interfaith cooperation. Having helped launch the IFYC in my younger days and now learning the ropes of academic life in my position at Andover Newton Theological School, it struck me how powerful it would be to combine the scholarly depth of the academy with the passion of the interfaith movement. Barbara looked at me and suggested simply, “what about starting a new area at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) focused on interfaith work?”

Virtual Tools for Building Interfaith Communities

Happy Black History month! TIO’s theme this month is new models of interfaith community. So it seems appropriate to explore different social media platforms supporting interfaith engagement, particularly with the younger generation. These five resources are the tip of the iceberg in terms of new social media platforms. But they are the most popular, free, and accessible social media resources, providing good ways to start for anyone beginning to explore social media platforms.

Sacred Ground by Eboo Patel: A Review

With Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, Eboo Patel establishes himself as the preeminent voice of the interfaith movement. The book is about the “promise of American pluralism,” because, “Simply put, it is people who have protected the promise of pluralism from the poison of prejudice.” Patel unabashedly notes that “the main character” in this book “is the one I love the most – America.”

Peacemaking – Seeking, Finding, Starting

Turning the final page of Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith, I felt what only comes from finishing a great book: a mixture of equal parts exhilaration and disappointment that it’s over. Patel is an engaging writer with an intriguing personal story, and the major ideas encapsulated in his book spoke to me on a very basic level.

International Interfaith Stakeholders Today

In last month’s TIO, Marcus Braybrooke wrote a brief history of the interfaith movement since 1893. He tells how major interfaith organizations emerged in the twentieth century, starting with the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF), whose roots go back to 1900. The World Congress of Faiths, celebrating its 75th birthday this year, was the first established organization to invite all people of faith and practice to a shared table of dialogue in the “spirit of fellowship.” Both IARF and the Congress remain active international organizations, a tribute to the resilience of their hope for a happier religious future.

The $100,000 Question in the Interfaith Movement

How do we know when we have arrived in the interfaith movement?  When religious pluralism is normative?  When religious differences don’t cause conflict or even concern?