IU East to impact community through participation in President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge

August 3rd, 2011

Indiana University East was selected to participate in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an initiative inviting institutions of higher education to commit to interfaith cooperation and community service programming on campus. The initiative is to build understanding among diverse communities and contribute to the common good.

The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge will kick off the yearlong initiative today (Wednesday, August 3) in Washington, D.C.

Patty Crawford, career and experiential learning coordinator, will represent IU East at the White House.

“We are honored to be selected as a participant in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge,” Crawford said. “President Obama’s Interfaith Service Challenge is the perfect opportunity for IU East to create service programs rooted in religious diversity, providing the opportunity to build tolerance, understanding, dialogue, and ultimately unity.”

IU East will focus on domestic poverty and educational opportunity; education; and literacy as part of the initiative.

As outlined in IU East’s proposal, the university will establish the Interfaith Student Organization and Service Panel to involve student leaders in the initiative. This group will host monthly traditional celebrations supported by the IU East Office of Service-Learning and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Additionally, as part of the proposal, the campus will host the IU East Interfaith Institute in the spring. Through the initiative, IU East will develop partnerships for interfaith and programming collaborations with Earlham College and community non-profit organizations. The IU East Library, with support from the American Library Association and Nextbook, will host a traveling exhibit, “Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience,” in the fall. This traveling exhibit highlights the work of the artist, poet, and activist, Emma Lazarus.

IU East will strategically implement interfaith and service programs in the first step in the campus’ three-year plan to increase interfaith dialogue and service engagement. The university will increase its interfaith and service programming scope, community partnerships, student leadership, faculty advising, staff participation and develop funds to ensure sustainability.

“Individuals can better develop their self-awareness and build stronger foundations for themselves while still being respectful and educated about their neighbor’s individual choices, backgrounds, and beliefs. Developing a culture of interfaith tolerance, dialogue and unity has endless potential for community building and growth,” Crawford said.

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