Practical Application

Practical Application Panel

Practical Application Panel

  • Brian Farr, Rotary Utah District Chair for Conflict Resolution and Peace, Immediate Past Chair of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, President of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy.  Brian states that interfaith can be an agent towards peace, a condition that allows the full flowering of the human spirit.  Interfaith does this by countering the roots of violence, selfishness and greed, and inoculating against fear by increasing understanding.  Peace-building is community building, which rests not in the hands of government, but in the people.  It is a battle for the hearts and minds of people.
  • Melissa Nozell, NAIN Scholarship recipient. Melissa is a summer intern at the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and has a BA, Honors, in Religion and Asian Studies from Colgate University. The main focus of her academic interest is on positive interactions between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia.  Melissa gained some of her insights from travelling in India.  She says that religion both brings people together and divides them.  She cites the fact that in India people celebrate each other’s holidays as a positive example.  A negative aspect of religion in India is the demonization of mental illness; but religious leaders are combatting this issue.  She commented on the Harvard Pluralism Project’s case studies initiative.  She also states that intrafaith work is needed also.  We need to take the concept of interfaith home to our communities of faith.
  • John Kesler, J.D.  Founder and Executive Director of Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community. John’s interest in addressing the growing problem of divisiveness and incivility in society resulted in the timely document and initiative “A Call to Civility”.   John discussed a program in the Public Schools, a curriculum of the three Rs – rights, responsibility, and respect.  It has been integrated in the schools for ten years.  Now they are challenging adults to behave this way.  They are addressing bodies of government to adopt community ground rules for successful engagement and civility.  [With such appalling examples of incivility in our government and public arenas, this strikes me as a very important initiative for all of us to undertake.]
 
 

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