Anastasia Young '14 was invited by Dr. Eboo Patel to participate in a panel discussion on interfaith.
A Concordia student was one of four college students from across the nation invited to participate in a panel discussion at the third annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service conference in Washington, D.C.
Anastasia Young ’14, Butte, Mont., a Concordia Interfaith Scholar, received a personal invitation from activist and author Dr. Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith Youth Core, who spoke at Concordia last year.
“This was an incredible opportunity to hear what other colleges are doing with interfaith work,” says Young. “Everyone is doing things differently, but the one thing we all have in common is our passion for interfaith cooperation and service.”
The conference gave Young new ideas to bring to Concordia’s interfaith service efforts.
“We first must determine what our passions are for service here, and then do that,” says Young. “I’m going to share what I heard about the variety of ways to do interfaith work.”
For example, a student from Georgetown University described how they asked students who are already engaged in sports rivalries to channel that passion into a food drive challenge against opposing teams.
“That’s an example of using an existing interest into doing more good than just cheering at games,” says Young. “It’s a very transferable idea.”
This national interfaith gathering gives colleges that are starting interfaith programs an opportunity to learn about successful ones. Also participating in the national conference was Concordia Interfaith Scholar Robyn Adams ’16, Littleton, Colo., who presented information about interfaith engagement and the curriculum.
Young says Better Together, Concordia’s interfaith group, will plug into what other campus organizations are doing in service and expand those activities.
“We’re doing that now with the Habitat for Humanity playhouse build project and SGA’s sustainability initiatives,” she says.
Young says the most frequently asked question of the panelists was how they started their personal interfaith journey.
“For me, it was religious diversity in Religion 100 class, where I was able to explore other religions outside my own,” says Young.
She says interfaith cooperation really hit home for her while studying abroad in India where she observed Muslim and Hindu women working together to start a free health clinic.
“They brought their whole selves into the work to make a difference through their interfaith cooperation,” says Young. “Seeing that was a powerful experience for me.”