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The Illinois Interfaith Conference 2016 brings together leaders who are working to make interfaith cooperation happen on the national level. Speakers for the IIC 2016 will  include:

Valarie Kaur

Valarie Kaur is an American interfaith leader. As a lawyer, filmmaker, social entrepreneur, and Sikh activist, she works with communities to channel their stories into movements for social change. She has made award-winning films and led multimedia campaigns on a wide range of issues: racial profiling, gun violence, marriage equality, immigration detention, solitary confinement, hate crimes against Sikh and Muslim Americans. Valarie is a regular television commentator on MSNBC and opinion contributor to CNN, NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Hill and The New York Times. Valarie founded Groundswell Movement of 200,000+ members, America’s largest multifaith online organizing community known for “dynamically strengthening faith-based organizing in the 21st century.” The Center for American Progress calls Valarie “a standout figure in the world of interfaith organizing and activism” and among 13 progressive faith leaders to watch. Valarie lives with her husband and filmmaking partner Sharat Raju and their one-year old son Kavi Singh in Los Angeles. She is a member of the State Bar of California. She believes that “the way we make change is just as important as the change we make.”  (Sources: & Parliament of the World’s Religions)


Imam Khalid Latif

Imam Khalid Latif is a University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, the first-ever all-natural/organic halal butcher in NYC, the Muslim Wedding Service, an agency specializing in providing charismatic and inspirational marriage officiants for wedding ceremonies, and a partner in the MKO Group, an investment group that owns and operates multiple Edible Arrangements franchises in Manhattan. In 2012, Imam Latif co-founded with NYU’s Vice-Chancellor Linda Mills, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, and Chelsea Clinton the Of Many Institute, a groundbreaking programmatic model for multifaith leadership at the university level. The OM Institute supports a new generation of religious and civic leaders who, deeply rooted in their own religious and spiritual traditions, reach across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.

Dr. Kathy Goodman

Photo of Dr. Kathy Goodman

Kathy Goodman is assistant professor of student affairs in higher education at Miami University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in May 2011. While at Iowa, she was a research assistant at the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education. Prior to that, she held an administrative position at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Kathy’s research and teaching interests include the impact of college experiences on student development; diversity and equity in higher education; spirituality, life purpose, and atheist college students; and helping student affairs professionals develop the capacity to do interfaith work. She has been published in the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diversity and Democracy, and Research in Higher Education. She has also served as member of the board of directors for the Secular Student Alliance. Dr. Goodman’s workshop will focus on building the capacity of student affair professionals to engage in interfaith work with students. It will include both foundational knowledge and the opportunity to engage in interfaith dialogue.