Interfaith Youth Core founder to speak about uniting to serve common good
October 25, 2011
Lisle, Illinois ~ So many young people die in the name of God, why do so few serve in the name of God?
While attending an interfaith conference at Stanford University in 1998 with a small group of peers, Ebrahim "Eboo" Patel started to ask himself two questions: Why do so many stories about religion feature young people fighting in the name of God, and why isn't there a huge movement of young people from different faiths working together to apply the core values of all faiths-service to others?
Patel decided that it was time for a new movement of interfaith youth to provide service to others. He formed the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) in order to bring young people from different faith communities together to work in social action projects, fostering cooperation instead of conflict among youth of diverse religious beliefs.
Patel, a Chicago native and University of Illinois graduate, will address the topic of "Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Global Religious Crisis" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, in the Fireside Lounge located in the Krasa Student Center at Benedictine University.
Patel's foundation has become a national movement. One hundred forty colleges are now participating to encourage college students to become advocates for religious pluralism and interfaith understanding. Programs involve social action projects addressing problems ranging from homelessness and hunger to education.
Patel will use examples from legendary activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Dorothy Day to focus on how we can lead our communities of faith to work with people from different religious and philosophical backgrounds to serve the common good.
Patel is a Rhodes Scholar who earned a Ph.D. in the Sociology of Religion from Oxford University. He has been recognized by US News & World Report® as one of "America's Best Leaders of 2009," makes regular contributions to the Washington Post, USA Today and CNN, and has served on President Obama's Inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.