IU East welcomes community to attend first Interfaith Institute

Indiana University East is hosting its first Interfaith Institute from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20 in Vivian Auditorium, located in Whitewater Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations may be made online at iue.edu/interfaith/institute-form.php.

The Interfaith Institute is part of the White House Interfaith & Service Campus Challenge Programming. The Interfaith Institute will be led by the International Focolare Movement.

“The IU East Interfaith Institute will conclude the IU East academic year of Interfaith & Service White House Campus Challenge programming,” said Patty Crawford, special assistant to the Chancellor and Interfaith & Service Program coordinator. “This year our campus community has embraced these programs through interfaith celebrations and service programs and partnerships. Our student participants have embraced that appreciating diversity does not simply stop with racial equality, but it continues through cultural and spiritual dialogue and understanding.”

During the institute, participants will learn how the International Focolare Movement has had a powerful impact on interfaith dialogue and unity throughout the world, through grassroots practices and philosophies. Speakers come from diverse religious beliefs including Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Sikh.

Crawford said the Interfaith Institute will be a dynamic closing event for learning and participating in dialogue with the Focolare Movement. The Focolare is a movement that has spread from Italy, post-World War II, to all over the world and has championed inter-religious unity.  The foundress of the Focolare Movement, Chiara Lubich, was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (1977), The UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, (1996), Council of Europe’s Human Rights Prize (1998), and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.  Her work toward building concrete unity with others continues worldwide today.

“This event will give IU East and the greater community an opportunity to hear experiences of this amazing work from professors, young professionals, youth, and even a delegate from the United Nations,” Crawford said.

Internationally known speakers, unique interfaith experiences, interfaith prayer opportunities and interactive workshops will fill the day with diversity and inspiration.

Workshop sessions include:
•    “Economy of Communion: Businesses Engaging Interfaith & Poverty Solutions” led by John Mundell, president of Mundell and Associates, Indianapolis, Ind.

•    “Youth for a United World: Youth from Around the World Building Interfaith Unity” led by Ryan Funk, law student, Indianapolis; Sasha Ongtengco, admissions manager, The Cara Program, Chicago, Ill.; Austin Teliaferro, high school student, Columbus, Ohio

•    “The Cube of Caring” led by Ron Ramer, emeritus professor of education, Aurora University, Aurora, Ill., and Mary Ann Cottone, principal and director of curriculum development for Moorestown Public Schools, New Jersey, and a GO Education delegate to the United Nations

For more information, contact Patty Crawford, special assistant to the Chancellor and Interfaith & Service Program director, at (765) 973-8625 or email pajames@iue.edu.