by Allie Smith

Eboo Patel stands for a portrait photo

Religious diversity continues to grow in America, and so should the conversation surrounding it. 

 The University of West Georgia’s College of Education will host a discussion on interfaith cooperation featuring Eboo Patel, author and speaker, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m.  at the Townsend Center of Performing Arts. Following the lecture, the event will conclude with a book signing and giveaway.

The lecture is part of the college’s Dag Folger Speaker Series.

“The College of Education is excited to bring high-profile speakers to campus each year who inspire and challenge us to think in new ways,” said Dr. Dianne Hoff, COE dean. 

Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), an organization that is advocating for interfaith cooperation in America. Patel also served on President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. 

Patel describes interfaith cooperation as being a way to build bridges rather than barriers when it comes to religious diversity. 

“Interfaith cooperation is when people of different faiths come together in ways that promote cooperation, service and harmony as opposed to division and misunderstanding,” Patel explained.

The mission of IFYC is to equip college campuses with the skills and knowledge to instill interfaith leadership qualities into their students. 

“My trip to the University of West Georgia is a great example of what we do,” Patel said. “We help college campuses develop high quality sustainable programs that teach the knowledge base and skill set of interfaith leadership.”

This event will provide an opportunity for attendees to sharpen their skills, grow their awareness of religious diversity, and help implement this knowledge into their professional and personal lives. 

“I think everyone who graduates should have interfaith literacy and interfaith leadership skills,” Patel shared. “It’s going to benefit people you are working with, and it’s going to benefit the broader society.” 

Those attending the lecture can expect to learn about the history of interfaith cooperation and how to continue this movement in the future. 

“My hope is students leave with inspiration to become interfaith leaders,” Patel said. “I also hope faculty, staff and administrators are compelled to implement high-quality interfaith programs at UWG.” 

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited. Admission is free, but a ticket is needed for entry. Tickets are now available for pick up at the Townsend Center, COE Dean’s Office in the Education Center and online at https://townsendcenter.secure.force.com/ticket/#/events/a0S1Y00000L6EhzUAF.  

Past speakers have included Jonathan Kozol, Emilie Martinez-Palacio and Edwin Moses. For more information on Patel and the Dag Folger Speaker Series, visit www.westga.edu/academics/education/dag-folger.php

Posted on October 4, 2019