DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College will host the second annual River Crossing Storytelling and Interfaith Leadership Conference from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3 at the Alumni Campus Center. The event, aimed at college students, as well as high school juniors and seniors, will focus on interfaith relationship building on area campuses.
“It’s entering a conversation starting with a person’s personal experience instead of debating about facts about a religious tradition,” said Anastacia McDermott, a 2003 graduate of Loras and coordinator of the Father Ray Herman Peace and Justice Center and Campus Ministry at Loras College. “They get to know the human beings behind the philosophies.”
Keynote speaker Hind Makki is an interfaith educator and writer who focuses on interfaith action, anti-racism education and women’s empowerment. She’s also founder and curator of “Side Entrance,” a crowd-sourced website that showcases women’s mosque experiences around the world via photo and narrative. It won the Brass Crescent Award in 2013 in the category of “Best Female Blogger.”
Hind has appeared on Al Jazeera English, Chicago Public Radio, and Huffington Post Live; her work has been featured in Alarabiya News, AltMuslimah, The Cambridge Companion to American Islam, Common Ground News, The Economist, The Huffington Post, Islamic Horizons, National Public Radio, PolicyMic; and she has published pieces in The Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, Salzburger Nachrichten, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
The conference, with help from the Children of Abraham and Loras’ Better Together student organization, will also offer networking and small group activities.
“Practicing interfaith dialogue has given me skills that I use in every other aspect of my life,” Laura Bohorquez, a senior at Loras, said. “This conference will be an opportunity for me to share those skills with other students, and to learn about their experiences, so we can benefit from each other.”
The Children of Abraham is an interfaith group that consists of community members along with faculty from Loras College, Emmaus Bible College and the University of Dubuque. In 2014, the Corporation for National and Community Service honored Loras College with the first Presidential Award for Interfaith Service because of its leadership through initiatives like Children of Abraham.
For more information on the River Crossing Interfaith Leadership Conference, call Chris Lammer-Heindel at (563) 588-7733 or email Christoffer.Lammer-Heindel@loras.edu.
Register at bit.ly/lorasinterfaith. Cost is $15.